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      DNA damage-induced activation of p53 by the checkpoint kinase Chk2.

      Science (New York, N.Y.)
      Animals, Apoptosis, Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins, Cell Cycle Proteins, Checkpoint Kinase 2, DNA Damage, DNA-Binding Proteins, G1 Phase, G2 Phase, Gamma Rays, Gene Expression Regulation, Gene Targeting, Genes, Tumor Suppressor, Genes, p53, Humans, Interphase, Mice, Nuclear Proteins, Phosphorylation, Phosphoserine, metabolism, Protein Kinases, Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases, Proto-Oncogene Proteins, Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2, Stem Cells, cytology, T-Lymphocytes, Transcription, Genetic, Tumor Suppressor Protein p53, Tumor Suppressor Proteins

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          Abstract

          Chk2 is a protein kinase that is activated in response to DNA damage and may regulate cell cycle arrest. We generated Chk2-deficient mouse cells by gene targeting. Chk2-/- embryonic stem cells failed to maintain gamma-irradiation-induced arrest in the G2 phase of the cell cycle. Chk2-/- thymocytes were resistant to DNA damage-induced apoptosis. Chk2-/- cells were defective for p53 stabilization and for induction of p53-dependent transcripts such as p21 in response to gamma irradiation. Reintroduction of the Chk2 gene restored p53-dependent transcription in response to gamma irradiation. Chk2 directly phosphorylated p53 on serine 20, which is known to interfere with Mdm2 binding. This provides a mechanism for increased stability of p53 by prevention of ubiquitination in response to DNA damage.

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