Human claspin is a ring-shaped DNA-binding protein with high affinity to branched DNA structures.
Claspin is an essential protein for the ATR-dependent activation of the DNA replication checkpoint response in Xenopus and human cells. Here we describe the purification and characterization of human Claspin. The protein has a ring-like structure and binds with high affinity to branched DNA molecules. These findings suggest that Claspin may be a component of the replication ensemble and plays a role in the replication checkpoint by directly associating with replication forks and with the various branched DNA structures likely to form at stalled replication forks because of DNA damage.