MTA1 (metastasis-associated protein 1), an integral component of the nucleosome remodeling and deacetylase complex, has recently been implicated in the ionizing radiation-induced DNA damage response. However, whether MTA1 also participates in the UV-induced DNA damage checkpoint pathway remains unknown. In response to UV radiation, ATR (ataxia teleangiectasia- and Rad3-related) is the major kinase activated that orchestrates cell cycle progression with DNA repair machinery by phosphorylating and activating a number of downstream substrates, such as Chk1 (checkpoint kinase 1) and H2AX (histone 2A variant X). Here, we report that UV radiation stabilizes MTA1 in an ATR-dependent manner and increases MTA1 binding to ATR. On the other hand, depletion of MTA1 compromises the ATR-mediated Chk1 activation following UV treatment, accompanied by a marked down-regulation of Chk1 and its interacting partner Claspin, an adaptor protein that is required for the phosphorylation and activation of Chk1 by ATR. Furthermore, MTA1 deficiency decreases the induction of phosphorylated H2AX (referred to as gamma-H2AX) and gamma-H2AX focus formation after UV treatment. Consequently, depletion of MTA1 results in a defect in the G(2)-M checkpoint and increases cellular sensitivity to UV-induced DNA damage. Thus, MTA1 is required for the activation of the ATR-Claspin-Chk1 and ATR-H2AX pathways following UV treatment, and the noted abrogation of the DNA damage checkpoint in the MTA1-depleted cells may be, at least in part, a consequence of dysregulation of the expression of these two pathways. These findings suggest that, in addition to its role in the repair of double strand breaks caused by ionizing radiation, MTA1 also participates in the UV-induced ATR-mediated DNA damage checkpoint pathway.