To further dissect the genetic differences between the checkpoint pathway following S-phase cdc arrest versus DNA damage, a genetic screen was performed for checkpoint mutants that were unable to arrest mitosis following cell-cycle arrest with a temperature-sensitive DNA polymerase delta mutant, cdc20-M10. One such checkpoint mutant, rad17-d14, was found to display the cut phenotype following S-phase arrest by cdc20-M10, but not by the DNA synthesis inhibitor hydroxyurea, reminiscent of the chk1 mutant. Unlike chk1, rad17-d14 was not sensitive to UV irradiation. Interestingly, the ionising radiation sensitivity of rad17-d14 was only at higher doses, and cells were found to be defective in properly arresting cell division following irradiation in S phase, but not G(2) phase. Biochemical analysis attributes the checkpoint defects of rad17-d14 to the failure to phosphorylate the checkpoint effector Chk1p. To investigate if Rad17p monitors the genome for abnormal DNA structures specifically during DNA synthesis, chromatin association of Rad17p was analysed. Rad17p was found to be chromatin associated throughout the cell cycle, not just during S phase. This interaction occurred irrespective of the arrest with cdc20-M10 and, surprisingly, was also independent of the other checkpoint Rad proteins, and the cell-cycle effectors Chk1p and Cds1p.

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