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Cell. 1995 Sep 8;82(5):849-56.

DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit: a relative of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and the ataxia telangiectasia gene product.

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Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research Campaign Institute, Cambridge University, England.


DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK), which is involved in DNA double-stranded break repair and V(D)J recombination, comprises a DNA-targeting component called Ku and an approximately 460 kDa catalytic subunit, DNA-PKcs. Here, we describe the cloning of the DNA-PKcs cDNA and show that DNA-PKcs falls into the phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase family. Biochemical assays, however, indicate that DNA-PK phosphorylates proteins but has no detectable activity toward lipids. Strikingly, DNA-PKcs is most similar to PI kinase family members involved in cell cycle control, DNA repair, and DNA damage responses. These include the FKBP12-rapamycin-binding proteins Tor1p, Tor2p, and FRAP, S. pombe rad3, and the product of the ataxia telangiectasia gene, mutations in which lead to genomic instability and predisposition to cancer. The relationship of these proteins to DNA-PKcs provides important clues to their mechanisms of action.

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