Ultraviolet (UV) light is a carcinogenic agent that upregulates the expression of several genes involved in various cellular processes, including cell cycle checkpoints and apoptosis. The universal cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21(WAF1/Cip1) plays major roles in these processes, and the level of its corresponding message increases several times in response to UV-induced DNA damage. This upregulation is mainly posttranscriptional owing to HuR-dependent mRNA stabilization. Since the protein kinase Atr plays major roles during the cellular response to UV damage, we sought to investigate its possible implication in the stabilization of the p21(WAF1/Cip1) coding mRNA. We have shown that the UV-dependent accumulation of the CDKN1A mRNA is indeed under the control of the Atr protein kinase. Upon UV damage, Atr allows nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling of the HuR protein, which binds the CDKN1A mRNA and reduces its turnover. This ATR-dependent effect is mediated through UV-related phosphorylation/inactivation of the Cdk1 protein kinase by Atr, which leads to the dissociation of HuR from Cdk1. Indeed, inhibition or shRNA specific knockdown of CDK1 in ATR-deficient cells enhanced the cytoplasmic level of HuR and restored the CDKN1A mRNA upregulation in response to UV damage. These results show that ATR stabilizes the CDKN1A message in response to UV damage through Cdk1-related cytoplasmic accumulation of HuR.