A gemcitabine sensitivity screen identifies a role for NEK9 in the replication stress response

Scott C. Smith, Aleksandra V. Petrova, Matthew Z. Madden, Hongyan Wang, Yunfeng Pan, Matthew D. Warren, Claire W. Hardy, Dong Liang, Elaine A. Liu, M. Hope Robinson, Soumon Rudra, Jie Wang, Shahrzad Ehdaivand, Mylin A. Torres, Ya Wang, David S. Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The Replication Stress Response (RSR) is a signaling network that recognizes challenges to DNA replication and coordinates diverse DNA repair and cell-cycle checkpoint pathways. Gemcitabine is a nucleoside analogue that causes cytotoxicity by inducing DNA replication blocks. Using a synthetic lethal screen of a RNAi library of nuclear enzymes to identify genes that when silenced cause gemcitabine sensitization or resistance in human triple-negative breast cancer cells, we identified NIMA (never in mitosis gene A)-related kinase 9 (NEK9) as a key component of the RSR. NEK9 depletion in cells leads to replication stress hypersensitivity, spontaneous accumulation of DNA damage and RPA70 foci, and an impairment in recovery from replication arrest. NEK9 protein levels also increase in response to replication stress. NEK9 complexes with CHK1, and moreover, NEK9 depletion impairs CHK1 autophosphorylation and kinase activity in response to replication stress. Thus, NEK9 is a critical component of the RSR that promotes CHK1 activity, maintaining genome integrity following challenges to DNA replication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11517-11527
Number of pages11
JournalNucleic acids research
Issue number18
StatePublished - Oct 13 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'A gemcitabine sensitivity screen identifies a role for NEK9 in the replication stress response'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this