Inhibition of Cdc7/Dbf4 kinase activity affects specific phosphorylation sites on MCM2 in cancer cells

Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research, Oncology, Emeryville, California 94608, USA.
Journal of Cellular Biochemistry (Impact Factor: 3.26). 06/2008; 104(3):1075-86. DOI: 10.1002/jcb.21698
Source: PubMed


The Cdc7/Dbf4 kinase is required for initiation of DNA replication and also plays a role in checkpoint function in response to replication stress. Exactly how Cdc7/Dbf4 mediates those activities remains to be elucidated. Cdc7/Dbf4 physically interacts with and phosphorylates the minichromosome maintenance complex (MCM), such as MCM2, MCM4 and MCM6. Cdc7/Dbf4 activity is required for association of Cdc45 followed by recruitment of DNA polymerase on the chromatin. Using high resolution mass spectrometry, we identified six phosphorylation sites on MCM2, two of them have not been described before. We provide evidence that Cdc7/Dbf4 mediates phosphorylation on serine 108 and serine 40 on human MCM2 in vitro and in vivo in cancer cells in the absence of DNA damage. Antibodies specific to pS108 or pS40 confirmed the sites and established useful read-outs for inhibition of Cdc7/Dbf4. This report demonstrates the utility of an in vitro to in vivo workflow utilizing immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry to map phosphorylation sites on endogenous kinase substrates. The approach can be readily generalized to identify target modulation read-outs for other potential kinase cancer targets.

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    • "Purified DDK was found to phosphorylate the Mcm2, Mcm4, and Mcm6 subunits, with strong prevalence for MCM2–7 in its double-hexameric form (Sun et al.; Genes & Development 2014) (Francis et al. 2009). DDK targets sequences for phosphorylation characterized by an acidic residue at the +1 position, which can be either an acidic amino acid or a negative charge provided by a phosphoserine or phosphothreonine (Charych et al. 2008; Cho et al. 2006; Montagnoli et al. 2006). Indeed, both CDK and the checkpoint kinase Mec1 phosphorylate chromatin-associated MCM2–7, generating priming sites for DDK-dependent phosphorylation , which contributes to efficient helicase activation and genomic stability (Randell et al. 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: A crucial step during eukaryotic initiation of DNA replication is the correct loading and activation of the replicative DNA helicase, which ensures that each replication origin fires only once. Unregulated DNA helicase loading and activation, as it occurs in cancer, can cause severe DNA damage and genomic instability. The essential mini-chromosome maintenance proteins 2-7 (MCM2-7) represent the core of the eukaryotic replicative helicase that is loaded at DNA replication origins during G1-phase of the cell cycle. The MCM2-7 helicase activity, however, is only triggered during S-phase once the holo-helicase Cdc45-MCM2-7-GINS (CMG) has been formed. A large number of factors and several kinases interact and contribute to CMG formation and helicase activation, though the exact mechanisms remain unclear. Crucially, upon DNA damage, this reaction is temporarily halted to ensure genome integrity. Here, we review the current understanding of helicase activation; we focus on protein interactions during CMG formation, discuss structural changes during helicase activation, and outline similarities and differences of the prokaryotic and eukaryotic helicase activation process.
    Chromosoma 10/2014; 124(1). DOI:10.1007/s00412-014-0489-2 · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    • "The Cdc7-Dbf4 complex is essential for ORI firing and maintenance of replication forks [21-26]. Cdc7 inactivation in cancer cell lines causes growth arrest and cell death, while only arresting growth in normal cells [27]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The nuclear enzyme topoisomerase IIα (TopoIIα) is able to cleave DNA in a reversible manner, making it a valuable target for agents such as etoposide that trap the enzyme in a covalent bond with the 5' DNA end to which it cleaves. This prevents DNA religation and triggers cell death in cancer cells. However, development of resistance to these agents limits their therapeutic use. In this study, we examined the therapeutic targeting of geminin for improving the therapeutic potential of TopoIIα agents. Human mammary epithelial (HME) cells and several breast cancer cell lines were used in this study. Geminin, TopoIIα and cell division cycle 7 (Cdc7) silencing were done using specific small interfering RNA. Transit or stable inducible overexpression of these proteins and casein kinase Iε (CKIε) were also used, as well as several pharmacological inhibitors that target TopoIIα, Cdc7 or CKIε. We manipulated HME cells that expressed H2B-GFP, or did not, to detect chromosome bridges. Immunoprecipitation and direct Western blot analysis were used to detect interactions between these proteins and their total expression, respectively, whereas interactions on chromosomal arms were detected using a trapped in agarose DNA immunostaining assay. TopoIIα phosphorylation by Cdc7 or CKIε was done using an in vitro kinase assay. The TopoGen decatenation kit was used to measure TopoIIα decatenation activity. Finally, a comet assay and metaphase chromosome spread were used to detect chromosome breakage and changes in chromosome condensation or numbers, respectively. We found that geminin and TopoIIα interact primarily in G2/M/early G1 cells on chromosomes, that geminin recruits TopoIIα to chromosomal decatenation sites or vice versa and that geminin silencing in HME cells triggers the formation of chromosome bridges by suppressing TopoIIα access to chromosomal arms. CKIε kinase phosphorylates and positively regulates TopoIIα chromosome localization and function. CKIε kinase overexpression or Cdc7 kinase silencing, which we show phosphorylates TopoIIα in vitro, restored DNA decatenation and chromosome segregation in geminin-silenced cells before triggering cell death. In vivo, at normal concentration, geminin recruits the deSUMOylating sentrin-specific proteases SENP1 and SENP2 enzymes to deSUMOylate chromosome-bound TopoIIα and promote its release from chromosomes following completion of DNA decatenation. In cells overexpressing geminin, premature departure of TopoIIα from chromosomes is thought to be due to the fact that geminin recruits more of these deSUMOylating enzymes, or recruits them earlier, to bound TopoIIα. This triggers premature release of TopoIIα from chromosomes, which we propose induces aneuploidy in HME cells, since chromosome breakage generated through this mechanism were not sensed and/or repaired and the cell cycle was not arrested. Expression of mitosis-inducing proteins such as cyclin A and cell division kinase 1 was also increased in these cells because of the overexpression of geminin. TopoIIα recruitment and its chromosome decatenation function require a normal level of geminin. Geminin silencing induces a cytokinetic checkpoint in which Cdc7 phosphorylates TopoIIα and inhibits its chromosomal recruitment and decatenation and/or segregation function. Geminin overexpression prematurely deSUMOylates TopoIIα, triggering its premature departure from chromosomes and leading to chromosomal abnormalities and the formation of aneuploid, drug-resistant cancer cells. On the basis of our findings, we propose that therapeutic targeting of geminin is essential for improving the therapeutic potential of TopoIIα agents.
    Breast cancer research: BCR 05/2011; 13(3):R53. DOI:10.1186/bcr2884 · 5.49 Impact Factor
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    • "We draw a useful analogy between Rad18 and Mcm2, a wellcharacterized substrate of Cdc7. Studies performed in vitro and using whole cells have shown that Cdc7 phosphorylates multiple residues in the acidic, serine-rich N terminus of Mcm2 (Cho et al., 2006; Charych et al., 2008), a region similar to the S box of Rad18. One detailed biochemical study demonstrated that, in vitro, the minimal requirement to support Cdc7 phosphorylation is an adjacent acidic amino acid (Cho et al., 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: The E3 ubiquitin ligase Rad18 guides DNA Polymerase eta (Polη) to sites of replication fork stalling and mono-ubiquitinates proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) to facilitate binding of Y family trans-lesion synthesis (TLS) DNA polymerases during TLS. However, it is unclear exactly how Rad18 is regulated in response to DNA damage and how Rad18 activity is coordinated with progression through different phases of the cell cycle. Here we identify Rad18 as a novel substrate of the essential protein kinase Cdc7 (also termed Dbf4/Drf1-dependent Cdc7 kinase [DDK]). A serine cluster in the Polη-binding motif of Rad 18 is phosphorylated by DDK. Efficient association of Rad18 with Polη is dependent on DDK and is necessary for redistribution of Polη to sites of replication fork stalling. This is the first demonstration of Rad18 regulation by direct phosphorylation and provides a novel mechanism for integration of S phase progression with postreplication DNA repair to maintain genome stability.
    The Journal of Cell Biology 11/2010; 191(5):953-66. DOI:10.1083/jcb.201006043 · 9.83 Impact Factor
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