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Cell Growth & Differentiation Vol. 13, 77-86, February 2002
© 2002 American Association for Cancer Research

Carcinogen-induced S-Phase Arrest Is Chk1 Mediated and Caffeine Sensitive1

Ning Guo, Douglas V. Faller and Cyrus Vaziri2

Cancer Research Center, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02118

We have investigated the mechanism of S-phase arrest elicited by the carcinogen benzo(a)pyrene dihydrodiol epoxide (BPDE) in p53-deficient cells. Inhibition of DNA synthesis after BPDE treatment was rapid and dose dependent (~50% inhibition after 2 h with 50 nM BPDE). Cells treated with low doses (50–100 nM) of BPDE resumed DNA synthesis after a delay of ~4–8 h, whereas cells that received high doses of BPDE (600 nM) failed to recover from S-phase arrest. The checkpoint kinase Chk1 (but not Chk2) was phosphorylated after treatment with low doses of BPDE. High concentrations of BPDE elicited phosphorylation of both Chk1 and Chk2. Adenovirus-mediated expression of "dominant-negative" Chk1 (but not dominant-negative Chk2) and the Chk1 inhibitor UCN-01 abrogated the S-phase delay elicited by low doses of BPDE. Consistent with a role for the caffeine-sensitive ATM or ATR protein kinase in low-dose BPDE-induced S-phase arrest, both Chk1 phosphorylation and S-phase arrest were abrogated by caffeine. However, low doses of BPDE elicited Chk1 phosphorylation and S-phase arrest in AT cells (from ataxia telangiectasia patients), demonstrating that ATM is dispensable for S-phase checkpoint responses to this genotoxin. BPDE-induced Chk1 phosphorylation and S-phase arrest were abrogated by caffeine treatment in AT cells, suggesting that a caffeine-sensitive kinase other than ATM is an important mediator of responses to BPDE-adducted DNA. Overall, our data demonstrate the existence of a caffeine-sensitive, Chk1-mediated, S-phase checkpoint that is operational in response to BPDE.




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Molecular Cancer Research Cell Growth & Differentiation
Copyright © 2002 by the American Association of Cancer Research.