ATR kinase inhibition induces unscheduled origin firing through a Cdc7-dependent association between GINS and And-1

Nat Commun. 2017 Nov 9;8(1):1392. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01401-x.


ATR kinase activity slows replication forks and prevents origin firing in damaged cells. Here we describe proteomic analyses that identified mechanisms through which ATR kinase inhibitors induce unscheduled origin firing in undamaged cells. ATR-Chk1 inhibitor-induced origin firing is mediated by Cdc7 kinase through previously undescribed phosphorylations on GINS that induce an association between GINS and And-1. ATR-Chk1 inhibitor-induced origin firing is blocked by prior exposure to DNA damaging agents showing that the prevention of origin firing does not require ongoing ATR activity. In contrast, ATR-Chk1 inhibitor-induced origins generate additional replication forks that are targeted by subsequent exposure to DNA damaging agents. Thus, the sequence of administration of an ATR kinase inhibitor and a DNA damaging agent impacts the DNA damage induced by the combination. Our experiments identify competing ATR and Cdc7 kinase-dependent mechanisms at replication origins in human cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Checkpoint Kinase 1 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Checkpoint Kinase 1 / metabolism
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / metabolism
  • DNA Damage / genetics*
  • DNA Replication / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Minichromosome Maintenance Complex Component 4 / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • RNA Interference
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • Replication Origin / genetics


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • GINS1 protein, human
  • GINS2 protein, human
  • GINS3 protein, human
  • GINS4 protein, human
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • WDHD1 protein, human
  • CDC7 protein, human
  • ATR protein, human
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins
  • CHEK1 protein, human
  • Checkpoint Kinase 1
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • MCM4 protein, human
  • Minichromosome Maintenance Complex Component 4