Xiangzi Han, Franklin Mayca Pozo, Jacob N Wisotsky
Mar 25, 2015
The Journal of Biological Chemistry
Background: Chk1 and the MCM complex play important roles in DNA replication and replication checkpoint. Results: Chk1 phosphorylates MCM3. Conclusion: Phosphorylation of MCM3 by Chk1 regulates normal DNA replication and checkpoint. Significance: These results provide insights into our understanding of DNA replication control and replication checkpoint activation. Mechanisms controlling DNA replication and replication checkpoint are critical for the maintenance of genome stability and the prevention or treatment of human cancers. Checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1) is a key effector protein kinase that regulates the DNA damage response and replication checkpoint. The heterohexameric minichromosome maintenance (MCM) complex is the core component of mammalian DNA helicase and has been implicated in replication checkpoint activation. Here we report that Chk1 phosphorylates the MCM3 subunit of the MCM complex at Ser-205 under normal growth conditions. Mutating the Ser-205 of MCM3 to Ala increased the length of DNA replication track and shortened the S phase duration, indicating that Ser-205 phosphorylation negatively controls normal DNA replication. Upon replicative stress treatment, the inhibitory phosphorylation of MCM3 at Ser-205 was reduced, and this reduction was accompanied with the generation of single strand DNA, the key platform for ataxia telangiectasia mutated and Rad3-related (ATR) activation. As a result, the replication checkpoint is activated. Together, these data provide significant insights into the regulation of both normal DNA replication and replication checkpoint activation through the novel phosphorylation of MCM3 by Chk1.