ABSTRACT: Checkpoints monitor the state of DNA and can delay or arrest the cell cycle at multiple points including G1-S transition, progress through S phase and G2-M transition. Regulation of progress through mitosis, specifically at the metaphase-anaphase transition, occurs after exposure to ionizing radiation (IR) in Drosophila and budding yeast, but has not been conclusively demonstrated in mammals. Here we report that regulation of metaphase-anaphase transition in Drosophila depends on the magnitude of radiation dose and time in the cell cycle at which radiation is applied, which may explain the apparent differences among experimental systems and offer an explanation as to why this regulation has not been seen in mammalian cells. We further document that mutants in Drosophila Chk1 (Grapes) that are capable of delaying the progress through mitosis in response to IR are incapable of delaying progress through mitosis when DNA synthesis is blocked by mutations in an essential replication factor encoded by double park (Drosophila Cdt1). We conclude that DNA damage and replication checkpoints operating in the same cell cycle at the same developmental stage in Drosophila can exhibit differential requirements for the Chk1 homolog. The converse situation exists in fission yeast where loss of Chk1 is more detrimental to the DNA damage checkpoint than to the DNA replication checkpoint. It remains to be seen which of these two different uses of Chk1 homologs are conserved in mammals. Finally, our results demonstrate that Drosophila provides a unique opportunity to study the regulation of the entry into, and progress through, mitosis by DNA structure checkpoints in metazoa.
Journal of Cell Science 09/2005; 118(Pt 15):3305-15. · 6.11 Impact Factor