CDK1 promotes nascent DNA synthesis and induces resistance of cancer cells to DNA-damaging therapeutic agents.

PMID 29207595


Cyclin dependent kinase 1 (CDK1) is essential for cell viability and plays a vital role in many biological events including cell cycle control, DNA damage repair, and checkpoint activation. Here, we identify an unanticipated role for CDK1 in promoting nascent DNA synthesis during S-phase. We report that a short duration of CDK1 inhibition, which does not perturb cell cycle progression, triggers a replication-associated DNA damage response (DDR). This DDR is associated with a disruption of replication fork progression and leads to genome instability. Moreover, we show that compromised CDK1 activity dramatically increases the efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents that kill cancer cells through perturbing DNA replication, including Olaparib, an FDA approved PARP inhibitor. Our study has revealed an important role for CDK1 in the DNA replication program, and suggests that the therapeutic targeting CDK1 may be a novel approach for combination chemotherapy.