PerspectiveCELL CYCLE

A DNA Damage Checkpoint Meets the Cell Cycle Engine

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Science  05 Sep 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5331, pp. 1450-1451
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5331.1450

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Cells contain complex protein machinery that drives their repeated divisions, but they also have "checkpoint proteins" that prevent this from happening if conditions are not right. If their DNA is damaged, for example, the cell cycle is arrested. Now in a Perspective, Weinert synthesizes the results presented in three papers in this issue and describes a biochemical pathway that links for the first time the checkpoint proteins that sense DNA damage and the cyclin-dependent kinase-cyclin complex that is the "engine" that drives the cell cycle.