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Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2005 Apr;5(2):333-42.

New opportunities in chemosensitization and radiosensitization: modulating the DNA-damage response.

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Department R47S, Cancer Research, Abbott Laboratories, 100 Abbott Park Road, Abbott Park, IL 60064, USA.


Many current cancer treatments, including certain classes of chemotherapeutics and radiation, induce cytotoxicity by damaging DNA. However, many cancers are resistant to these therapies, which represents a significant challenge in the clinic. Thus, modulating DNA-damage responses to selectively enhance the sensitivity of cancer cells to these therapies is highly desirable. When DNA damage is detected, DNA checkpoint mechanisms are activated to halt cells at various phases of the cell cycle. Simultaneously, DNA-damage sensors transduce signals to activate DNA-repair mechanisms via de novo expression or post-translational modification of enzymes required for DNA repair. p53 is the major player in a checkpoint that arrests cells at the G1/S boundary, while checkpoint kinase (Chk)1 is critical for the G2/M checkpoint and also the S checkpoint that prevents cell cycle progression after replication defects (intra-S-phase checkpoint) or S/M uncoupling (S/M checkpoint). Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase is involved in sensing DNA single-strand breaks and inducing DNA repair via poly(ADP-ribosyl)ating various DNA-binding and DNA-repair proteins. In this review, strategies for implementing small-molecule inhibitors of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase and Chk1, which are emerging as potential adjuncts to current therapies, are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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