Naoko Kakusho

Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Edo, Tōkyō, Japan

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Publications (12)88.6 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The E3 ubiquitin ligase Rad18 chaperones DNA polymerase η (Polη) to sites of UV-induced DNA damage and monoubiquitinates proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), facilitating engagement of Polη with stalled replication forks and promoting translesion synthesis (TLS). It is unclear how Rad18 activities are coordinated with other elements of the DNA damage response. We show here that Ser-409 residing in the Polη-binding motif of Rad18 is phosphorylated in a checkpoint kinase 1-dependent manner in genotoxin-treated cells. Recombinant Rad18 was phosphorylated specifically at S409 by c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) in vitro. In UV-treated cells, Rad18 S409 phosphorylation was inhibited by a pharmacological JNK inhibitor. Conversely, ectopic expression of JNK and its upstream kinase mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 4 led to DNA damage-independent Rad18 S409 phosphorylation. These results identify Rad18 as a novel JNK substrate. A Rad18 mutant harboring a Ser → Ala substitution at S409 was compromised for Polη association and did not redistribute Polη to nuclear foci or promote Polη-PCNA interaction efficiently relative to wild-type Rad18. Rad18 S409A also failed to fully complement the UV sensitivity of Rad18-depleted cells. Taken together, these results show that Rad18 phosphorylation by JNK represents a novel mechanism for promoting TLS and DNA damage tolerance.
    Molecular biology of the cell 03/2012; 23(10):1943-54. · 5.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Depletion of replication factors often causes cell death in cancer cells. Depletion of Cdc7, a kinase essential for initiation of DNA replication, induces cancer cell death regardless of its p53 status, but the precise pathways of cell death induction have not been characterized. We have used the recently-developed cell cycle indicator, Fucci, to precisely characterize the cell death process induced by Cdc7 depletion. We have also generated and utilized similar fluorescent cell cycle indicators using fusion with other cell cycle regulators to analyze modes of cell death in live cells in both p53-positive and -negative backgrounds. We show that distinct cell-cycle responses are induced in p53-positive and -negative cells by Cdc7 depletion. p53-negative cells predominantly arrest temporally in G2-phase, accumulating CyclinB1 and other mitotic regulators. Prolonged arrest at G2-phase and abrupt entry into aberrant M-phase in the presence of accumulated CyclinB1 are followed by cell death at the post-mitotic state. Abrogation of cytoplasmic CyclinB1 accumulation partially decreases cell death. The ATR-MK2 pathway is responsible for sequestration of CyclinB1 with 14-3-3σ protein. In contrast, p53-positive cancer cells do not accumulate CyclinB1, but appear to die mostly through entry into aberrant S-phase after Cdc7 depletion. The combination of Cdc7 inhibition with known anti-cancer agents significantly stimulates cell death effects in cancer cells in a genotype-dependent manner, providing a strategic basis for future combination therapies. Our results show that the use of Fucci, and similar fluorescent cell cycle indicators, offers a convenient assay system with which to identify cell cycle events associated with cancer cell death. They also indicate genotype-specific cell death modes induced by deficient initiation of DNA replication in cancer cells and its potential exploitation for development of efficient cancer therapies.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(5):e36372. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cdc7 is a serine/threonine kinase conserved from yeasts to human and is known to play a key role in the regulation of initiation at each replication origin. Its catalytic function is activated via association with the activation subunit Dbf4/activator of S phase kinase (ASK). It is known that two conserved motifs of Dbf4/ASK are involved in binding to Cdc7, and both are required for maximum activation of Cdc7 kinase. Cdc7 kinases possess unique kinase insert sequences (kinase insert I–III) that are inserted at defined locations among the conserved kinase domains. However, precise mechanisms of Cdc7 kinase activation are largely unknown. We have identified two segments on Cdc7, DAM-1 (Dbf4/ASK interacting motif-1; amino acids 448–457 near the N terminus of kinase insert III) and DAM-2 (C-terminal 10-amino acid segment), that interact with motif-M and motif-C of ASK, respectively, and are essential for kinase activation by ASK. The C-terminal 143-amino acid polypeptide (432–574) containing DAM-1 and DAM-2 can interact with Dbf4/ASK. Characterization of the purified ASK-free Cdc7 and Cdc7-ASK complex shows that ATP binding of the Cdc7 catalytic subunit requires Dbf4/ASK. However, the “minimum” Cdc7, lacking the entire kinase insert II and half of kinase insert III, binds to ATP and shows autophosphorylation activity in the absence of ASK. However, ASK is still required for phosphorylation of exogenous substrates by the minimum Cdc7. These results indicate bipartite interaction between Cdc7 and Dbf4/ASK subunits facilitates ATP binding and substrate recognition by the Cdc7 kinase.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2011; 286(26):23031-23043. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cdc7 is a serine/threonine kinase conserved from yeasts to human and is known to play a key role in the regulation of initiation at each replication origin. Its catalytic function is activated via association with the activation subunit Dbf4/activator of S phase kinase (ASK). It is known that two conserved motifs of Dbf4/ASK are involved in binding to Cdc7, and both are required for maximum activation of Cdc7 kinase. Cdc7 kinases possess unique kinase insert sequences (kinase insert I-III) that are inserted at defined locations among the conserved kinase domains. However, precise mechanisms of Cdc7 kinase activation are largely unknown. We have identified two segments on Cdc7, DAM-1 (Dbf4/ASK interacting motif-1; amino acids 448-457 near the N terminus of kinase insert III) and DAM-2 (C-terminal 10-amino acid segment), that interact with motif-M and motif-C of ASK, respectively, and are essential for kinase activation by ASK. The C-terminal 143-amino acid polypeptide (432-574) containing DAM-1 and DAM-2 can interact with Dbf4/ASK. Characterization of the purified ASK-free Cdc7 and Cdc7-ASK complex shows that ATP binding of the Cdc7 catalytic subunit requires Dbf4/ASK. However, the "minimum" Cdc7, lacking the entire kinase insert II and half of kinase insert III, binds to ATP and shows autophosphorylation activity in the absence of ASK. However, ASK is still required for phosphorylation of exogenous substrates by the minimum Cdc7. These results indicate bipartite interaction between Cdc7 and Dbf4/ASK subunits facilitates ATP binding and substrate recognition by the Cdc7 kinase.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2011; 286(26):23031-43. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In fission yeast, replication fork arrest activates the replication checkpoint effector kinase Cds1(Chk2/Rad53) through the Rad3(ATR/Mec1)-Mrc1(Claspin) pathway. Hsk1, the Cdc7 homologue of fission yeast required for efficient initiation of DNA replication, is also required for Cds1 activation. Hsk1 kinase activity is required for induction and maintenance of Mrc1 hyperphosphorylation, which is induced by replication fork block and mediated by Rad3. Rad3 kinase activity does not change in an hsk1 temperature-sensitive mutant, and Hsk1 kinase activity is not affected by rad3 mutation. Hsk1 kinase vigorously phosphorylates Mrc1 in vitro, predominantly at non-SQ/TQ sites, but this phosphorylation does not seem to affect the Rad3 action on Mrc1. Interestingly, the replication stress-induced activation of Cds1 and hyperphosphorylation of Mrc1 is almost completely abrogated in an initiation-defective mutant of cdc45, but not in an mcm2 or polε mutant. The results suggest that Hsk1-mediated loading of Cdc45 onto replication origins may play important roles in replication stress-induced checkpoint.
    Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 12/2010; 9(23):4627-37. · 5.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: When inappropriate DNA structures arise, they are sensed by DNA structure-dependent checkpoint pathways and subsequently repaired. Recruitment of checkpoint proteins to such structures precedes recruitment of proteins involved in DNA metabolism. Thus, checkpoints can regulate DNA metabolism. We show that fission yeast Rad9, a 9-1-1 heterotrimeric checkpoint-clamp component, is phosphorylated by Hsk1(Cdc7), the Schizosaccharomyces pombe Dbf4-dependent kinase (DDK) homolog, in response to replication-induced DNA damage. Phosphorylation of Rad9 disrupts its interaction with replication protein A (RPA) and is dependent on 9-1-1 chromatin loading, the Rad9-associated protein Rad4/Cut5(TopBP1), and prior phosphorylation by Rad3(ATR). rad9 mutants defective in DDK phosphorylation show wild-type checkpoint responses but abnormal DNA repair protein foci and decreased viability after replication stress. We propose that Rad9 phosphorylation by DDK releases Rad9 from DNA damage sites to facilitate DNA repair.
    Molecular cell 11/2010; 40(4):606-18. · 14.61 Impact Factor
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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. · 10.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mcm2-7 is recruited to eukaryotic origins of DNA replication by origin recognition complex, Cdc6 and Cdt1 thereby licensing the origins. Cdc6 is essential for origin licensing during DNA replication and is readily destabilized from chromatin after Mcm2-7 loading. Here, we show that after origin licensing, deregulation of Cdc6 suppresses DNA replication in Xenopus egg extracts without the involvement of ATM/ATR-dependent checkpoint pathways. DNA replication is arrested specifically after chromatin binding of Cdc7, but before Cdk2-dependent pathways and deregulating Cdc6 after this step does not impair activation of origin firing or elongation. Detailed analyses revealed that Cdc6 deregulation leads to strong suppression of Cdc7-mediated hyperphosphorylation of Mcm4 and subsequent chromatin loading of Cdc45, Sld5 and DNA polymerase α. Mcm2 phosphorylation is also repressed although to a lesser extent. Remarkably, Cdc6 itself does not directly inhibit Cdc7 kinase activity towards Mcm2-4-6-7 in purified systems, rather modulates Mcm2-7 phosphorylation on chromatin context. Taken together, we propose that Cdc6 on chromatin acts as a modulator of Cdc7-mediated phosphorylation of Mcm2-7, and thus destabilization of Cdc6 from chromatin after licensing is a key event ensuring proper transition to the initiation of DNA replication.
    Nucleic Acids Research 09/2010; 38(16):5409-18. · 8.81 Impact Factor
  • Naoko Kakusho, Chika Taniyama, Hisao Masai
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    ABSTRACT: Cdc7 is a serine-threonine kinase that regulates initiation and progression of DNA replication. The activity of purified Cdc7 kinase is significantly stimulated by polyamines such as spermine or spermidine. Positively charged polymers of lysine or arginine also stimulate its kinase activity, whereas the negatively charged substances such as polyglutamate or nucleic acids significantly inhibit the kinase activity. Spermine affects both the K(m) and V(max) of Cdc7 kinase for a minichromosome maintenance (MCM) substrate. We also found that histones, lysine- and arginine-rich basic proteins, can stimulate Cdc7 kinase activity, and a MCM complex in association with histone is a more efficient substrate of Cdc7 than the free MCM complex. These results identify potential cellular inhibitors and stimulators of Cdc7 kinase and suggest that Cdc7 may be another target of cellular polyamines and that histones may stimulate Cdc7-mediated phosphorylation of chromatin-bound substrates. Ectopic expression of an antizyme, known to reduce the cellular polyamine levels, resulted in reduction of Cdc7-mediated phosphorylation of MCM4 protein, suggesting physiological roles of polyamines in regulation of Cdc7 kinase activity in the cells.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2008; 283(28):19211-8. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cdc7 kinase is evolutionarily conserved and is involved in initiation and progression of DNA replication. However, roles of Cdc7 in checkpoint responses remain largely unknown. In this study, we show that deletion of the Cdc7 genes in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells abrogates hydroxyurea (HU)- or UV-induced activation of Chk1. HU-induced Chk1 activation is also impaired in human cancer cell lines in which Cdc7 is depleted by siRNA, and Cdc7-depleted cells are more sensitive to HU treatment. In contrast, ATR and Rad17 are relocated to chromatin in these cells following HU treatment, indicating that stalled DNA replication forks are detected normally. Cdc7-depleted cells exhibit defects in chromatin association and phosphorylation of Claspin, suggesting that Cdc7 exerts its effect at least partially through Claspin. Consistent with this prediction, Cdc7 interacts with and phosphorylates Claspin. We propose that Cdc7 is required for activation of the ATR-Chk1 checkpoint pathway through regulation of Claspin.
    Oncogene 06/2008; 27(24):3475-82. · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Meiosis ensures genetic diversification of gametes and sexual reproduction. For successful meiosis, multiple events such as DNA replication, recombination, and chromosome segregation must occur coordinately in a strict regulated order. We investigated the meiotic roles of Cdc7 kinase in the initiation of meiotic recombination, namely, DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) mediated by Spo11 and other coactivating proteins. Genetic analysis using bob1-1 cdc7Delta reveals that Cdc7 is essential for meiotic DSBs and meiosis I progression. We also demonstrate that the N-terminal region of Mer2, a Spo11 ancillary protein required for DSB formation and phosphorylated by cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK), contains two types of Cdc7-dependent phosphorylation sites near the CDK site (Ser30): One (Ser29) is essential for meiotic DSB formation, and the others exhibit a cumulative effect to facilitate DSB formation. Importantly, mutations on these sites confer severe defects in DSB formation even when the CDK phosphorylation is present at Ser30. Diploids of cdc7Delta display defects in the chromatin binding of not only Spo11 but also Rec114 and Mei4, other meiotic coactivators that may assist Spo11 binding to DSB hot spots. We thus propose that Cdc7, in concert with CDK, regulates Spo11 loading to DSB sites via Mer2 phosphorylation.
    Genes & Development 03/2008; 22(3):398-410. · 12.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cdc7 kinase, conserved from yeasts to human, plays important roles in DNA replication. However, the mechanisms by which it stimulates initiation of DNA replication remain largely unclear. We have analyzed phosphorylation of MCM subunits during cell cycle by examining mobility shift on SDS-PAGE. MCM4 on the chromatin undergoes specific phosphorylation during S phase. Cdc7 phosphorylates MCM4 in the MCM complexes as well as the MCM4 N-terminal polypeptide. Experiments with phospho-amino acid-specific antibodies indicate that the S phase-specific mobility shift is due to the phosphorylation at specific N-terminal (S/T)(S/T)P residues of the MCM4 protein. These specific phosphorylation events are not observed in mouse ES cells deficient in Cdc7 or are reduced in the cells treated with siRNA specific to Cdc7, suggesting that they are mediated by Cdc7 kinase. The N-terminal phosphorylation of MCM4 stimulates association of Cdc45 with the chromatin, suggesting that it may be an important phosphorylation event by Cdc7 for activation of replication origins. Deletion of the N-terminal non-conserved 150 amino acids of MCM4 results in growth inhibition, and addition of amino acids carrying putative Cdc7 target sequences partially restores the growth. Furthermore, combination of MCM4 N-terminal deletion with alanine substitution and deletion of the N-terminal segments of MCM2 and MCM6, respectively, which contain clusters of serine/threonine and are also likely targets of Cdc7, led to an apparent nonviable phenotype. These results are consistent with the notion that the N-terminal phosphorylation of MCM2, MCM4, and MCM6 may play functionally redundant but essential roles in initiation of DNA replication.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/2007; 281(51):39249-61. · 4.65 Impact Factor