Replication stress impedes DNA polymerase progression causing activation of the ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related signaling pathway, which promotes the intra-S phase checkpoint activity through phosphorylation of checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1). Chk1 suppresses replication origin firing, in part, by disrupting the interaction between the preinitiation complex components Treslin and TopBP1, an interaction that is mediated by TopBP1 BRCT domain-binding to two cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) phosphorylation sites, T968 and S1000, in Treslin. Two nonexclusive models for how Chk1 regulates the Treslin-TopBP1 interaction have been proposed in the literature: in one model, these proteins dissociate due to a Chk1-induced decrease in CDK activity that reduces phosphorylation of the Treslin sites that bind TopBP1 and in the second model, Chk1 directly phosphorylates Treslin, resulting in dissociation of TopBP1. However, these models have not been formally examined. We show here that Treslin T968 phosphorylation was decreased in a Chk1-dependent manner, while Treslin S1000 phosphorylation was unchanged, demonstrating that T968 and S1000 are differentially regulated. However, CDK2-mediated phosphorylation alone did not fully account for Chk1 regulation of the Treslin-TopBP1 interaction. We also identified additional Chk1 phosphorylation sites on Treslin that contributed to disruption of the Treslin-TopBP1 interaction, including S1114. Finally, we showed that both of the proposed mechanisms regulate origin firing in cancer cell line models undergoing replication stress, with the relative roles of each mechanism varying among cell lines. This study demonstrates that Chk1 regulates Treslin through multiple mechanisms to promote efficient dissociation of Treslin and TopBP1 and furthers our understanding of Treslin regulation during the intra-S phase checkpoint.
Keywords: Chk1; Chk1 inhibitors; TopBP1; Treslin; cytarabine; origin firing; replication stress.
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