Originally identified as a mediator of DNA damage response (DDR), checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1) has a broader role in checkpoint activation in DDR and normal cell cycle regulation. Chk1 activation involves phosphorylation at conserved sites. However, recent work has identified a splice variant of Chk1, which may regulate Chk1 in both DDR and normal cell cycle via molecular interaction. Upon activation, Chk1 phosphorylates a variety of substrate proteins, resulting in the activation of DNA damage checkpoints, cell cycle arrest, DNA repair, and/or cell death. Chk1 and its related signaling may be an effective therapeutic target in diseases such as cancer.