Tao Zhang1, 2, Saurabh Nirantar1, 2, Hong Hwa Lim1, Indrajit Sinha1 and Uttam Surana1
DNA damage checkpoint prevents segregation of damaged chromosomes by imposing cell-cycle arrest. In budding yeast, Mec1, Chk1, and Rad53 (homologous to human ATM/ATR, Chk1, and Chk2 kinases, respectively) are among the main effectors of this pathway. The DNA damage checkpoint is thought to inhibit chromosome segregation by preventing separase-mediated cleavage of cohesins. Here, we describe a regulatory network that prevents segregation of damaged chromosomes by restricting spindle elongation and acts in parallel with inhibition of cohesin cleavage. This control circuit involves Rad53, polo kinase, the anaphase-promoting complex activator Cdh1, and the bimC kinesin family proteins Cin8 and Kip1. The inhibition of polo kinase by Rad53-dependent phosphorylation prevents it from inactivating Cdh1. As a result, Cdh1 remains in a partially active state and limits Cin8 and Kip1 accumulation, thereby restraining spindle elongation. Hence, the DNA damage checkpoint suppresses both cohesin cleavage and spindle elongation to preserve chromosome stability.