Article

Damage-Induced Phosphorylation of Sld3 is Important to Block Late Origin Firing

Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94158-9001, USA.
Nature (Impact Factor: 42.35). 09/2010; 467(7314):479-83. DOI: 10.1038/nature09377
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Origins of replication are activated throughout S-phase such that some origins fire early and others fire late to ensure that each chromosome is completely replicated in a timely fashion. However, in response to DNA damage or replication fork stalling, eukaryotic cells block activation of unfired origins. Human cells derived from patients with ataxia telangiectasia are deficient in this process due to the lack of a functional ataxia-telegiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase and elicit Radio-resistant DNA synthesis (RDS)1–3 following γ-irradiation2. This effect is conserved in budding yeast, as yeast cells lacking the related kinase Mec1 (ATR) also fail to inhibit DNA synthesis in the presence of DNA damage4. This intra-S-phase checkpoint actively regulates DNA synthesis by inhibiting the firing of late replicating origins, and this inhibition requires both Mec1 and the downstream checkpoint kinase Rad53 (Chk2)5,6. However, the Rad53 substrate(s) whose phosphorylation is required to mediate this function remained unknown. Here, we show that the replication initiation protein Sld3 is phosphorylated by Rad53, and that this phosphorylation, along with phosphorylation of the Cdc7 kinase regulatory subunit Dbf4, blocks late origin firing. Upon exposure to DNA damaging agents, cells expressing nonphosphorylatable alleles of SLD3 and DBF4 (SLD3-m25 and dbf4-m25, respectively) proceed through S-phase faster than wild-type cells by inappropriately firing late origins of replication. SLD3-m25 dbf4-m25 cells grow poorly in the presence of the replication inhibitor hydroxyurea (HU) and accumulate multiple Rad52 foci. Moreover, SLD3-m25 dbf4-m25 cells are delayed in recovering from transient blocks to replication and subsequently arrest at the DNA damage checkpoint. These data suggest that the intra-S-phase checkpoint functions to block late origin firing in adverse conditions to prevent genomic instability and maximize cell survival.

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