After DNA damage, the cell cycle is arrested to avoid propagation of mutations. Arrest in G2 phase is initiated by ATM-/ATR-dependent signaling that inhibits mitosis-promoting kinases such as Plk1. At the same time, Plk1 can counteract ATR-dependent signaling and is required for eventual resumption of the cell cycle. However, what determines when Plk1 activity can resume remains unclear. Here, we use FRET-based reporters to show that a global spread of ATM activity on chromatin and phosphorylation of ATM targets including KAP1 control Plk1 re-activation. These phosphorylations are rapidly counteracted by the chromatin-bound phosphatase Wip1, allowing cell cycle restart despite persistent ATM activity present at DNA lesions. Combining experimental data and mathematical modeling, we propose a model for how the minimal duration of cell cycle arrest is controlled. Our model shows how cell cycle restart can occur before completion of DNA repair and suggests a mechanism for checkpoint adaptation in human cells.
Keywords: ATM; ATR; G2; Plk1; checkpoint recovery.
© 2017 The Authors.