Importane of a C-terminal conserved region of Chk1 for checkpoint function

Carmela Palermo, Justin C. Hope, Greg A. Freyer, Hui Rao, Nancy C. Walworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background. The protein kinase Chk1 is an essential component of the DNA damage checkpoint pathway. Chk1 is phosphorylated and activated in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe when cells are exposed to agents that damage DNA. Phosphorylation, kinase activation, and nuclear accumulation are events critical to the ability of Chk1 to induce a transient delay in cell cycle progression. The catalytic domain of Chk1 is well-conserved amongst all species, while there are only a few regions of homology within the C-terminus. A potential pseudosubstrate domain exists in the C-terminus of S. pombe Chk1, raising the possibility that the C-terminus acts to inhibit the catalytic domain through interaction of this domain with the substrate binding site. Methodology/Principal Findings. To evaluate this hypothesis, we characterized mutations in the pseudosubstrate region. Mutation of a conserved aspartic acid at position 469 to alanine or glycine compromises Chk1 function when the mutants are integrated as single copies, demonstrating that this domain of Chk1 is critical for function. Our data does not support, however, the hypothesis that the domain acts to inhibit Chk1 function as other mutations in the amino acids predicted to comprise the pseudosubstrate do not result in constitutive activation of the protein. When expressed in multi-copy, Chk1D469A remains non-functional. In contrast, multi-copy Chk1D469G confers cell survival and imposes a checkpoint delay in response to some, though not all forms of DNA damage. Conclusions/Significance. Thus, we conclude that this C-terminal region of Chk1 is important for checkpoint function and predict that a limiting factor capable of associating with Chk1D469G, but not Chk1D469A, interacts with Chk1 to elicit checkpoint activation in response to a subset of DNA lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1427
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 9 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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