The Chk1 protein kinase plays a critical role in a DNA damage checkpoint pathway conserved between fission yeast and animals. We have developed a quantitative assay for Chk1 activity, using a peptide derived from a region of Xenopus Cdc25C containing Ser-287, a known target of Chk1. Variants of this peptide were used to determine the residues involved in substrate recognition by Chk1, revealing the phosphorylation motif Φ-X-β-X-X-(S/T)*, where * indicates the phosphorylated residue, Φ is a hydrophobic residue (M>I>L>V), β is a basic residue (R>K) and X is any amino acid. This motif suggests that Chk1 is a member of a group of stress-response protein kinases which phosphorylate target proteins with related specificities. ũ 2000 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.
- Cell cycle checkpoint
- Protein kinase specificity