A role for Saccharomyces cerevisiae Chk1p in the response to replication blocks.
Replication blocks and DNA damage incurred during S phase activate the S-phase and intra-S-phase checkpoint responses, respectively, regulated by the Atrp and Chk1p checkpoint kinases in metazoans. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, these checkpoints are regulated by the Atrp homologue Mec1p and the kinase Rad53p. A conserved role of these checkpoints is to block mitotic progression until DNA replication and repair are completed. In S. cerevisiae, these checkpoints include a transcriptional response regulated by the kinase Dun1p; however, dun1Delta cells are proficient for the S-phase-checkpoint-induced anaphase block. Yeast Chk1p kinase regulates the metaphase-to-anaphase transition in the DNA-damage checkpoint pathway via securin (Pds1p) phosphorylation. However, like Dun1p, yeast Chk1p is not required for the S-phase-checkpoint-induced anaphase block. Here we report that Chk1p has a role in the intra-S-phase checkpoint activated when yeast cells replicate their DNA in the presence of low concentrations of hydroxyurea (HU). Chk1p was modified and Pds1p was transiently phosphorylated in this response. Cells lacking Dun1p were dependent on Chk1p for survival in HU, and chk1Delta dun1Delta cells were defective in the recovery from replication interference caused by transient HU exposure. These studies establish a relationship between the S-phase and DNA-damage checkpoint pathways in S. cerevisiae and suggest that at least in some genetic backgrounds, the Chk1p/securin pathway is required for the recovery from stalled or collapsed replication forks.