In eucaryotic cells chromosomes must be fully replicated and repaired before mitosis begins. Genetic studies indicate that this dependence of mitosis on completion of DNA replication and DNA repair derives from a negative control called a checkpoint which somehow checks for replication and DNA damage and blocks cell entry into mitosis. Here we summarize our current understanding of the genetic components of the cell cycle checkpoint in budding yeast. Mutants were identified and their phase and signal specificity tested primarily through interactions of the arrest-defective mutants with cell division cycle mutants. The results indicate that dual checkpoint controls exist in budding yeast, one control sensitive to inhibition of DNA replication (S-phase checkpoint), and a distinct but overlapping control sensitive to DNA repair ( G2 checkpoint). Six genes are required for arrest in G2 phase after DNA damage (RAD9, RAD17, RAD24, MEC1, MEC2, and MEC3), and two of these are also essential for arrest in S phase when DNA replication is blocked (MEC1 and MEC2).

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