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Clin Cancer Res. 2010 Jan 15;16(2):376-83. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-09-1029. Epub 2010 Jan 12.

New insights into checkpoint kinase 1 in the DNA damage response signaling network.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Institute for Molecular Medicine, and Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center, Richmond, Virginia 23298, USA.


The DNA damage response (DDR) represents a complex network of multiple signaling pathways involving cell cycle checkpoints, DNA repair, transcriptional programs, and apoptosis, through which cells maintain genomic integrity following various endogenous (metabolic) or environmental stresses. In cancer treatment, the DDR occurs in response to various genotoxic insults by diverse cytotoxic agents and radiation, representing an important mechanism limiting chemotherapeutic and radiotherapeutic efficacy. This has prompted the development of agents targeting DDR signaling pathways, particularly checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1), which contributes to all currently defined cell cycle checkpoints, including G1/S, intra-S-phase, G2/M, and the mitotic spindle checkpoint. Although numerous agents have been developed with the primary goal of enhancing the activity of DNA-damaging agents or radiation, the therapeutic outcome of this strategy remains to be determined. Recently, new insights into DDR signaling pathways support the notion that Chk1 represents a core component central to the entire DDR, including direct involvement in DNA repair and apoptotic events in addition to checkpoint regulation. Together, these new insights into the role of Chk1 in the DDR machinery could provide an opportunity for novel approaches to the development of Chk1 inhibitor strategies.

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