The DNA repair complex DNA-PK, a pharmacological target in cancer chemotherapy and radiotherapy

Pathol Biol (Paris). 2006 May;54(4):185-93. doi: 10.1016/j.patbio.2006.01.012. Epub 2006 Mar 23.


A line of investigation in the search for sensitizing tumor cells to chemotherapy or radiotherapy relies on the selection of DNA repair inhibitors. In the area of DNA repair mechanisms, DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) represents a key complex. Indeed DNA-PK is involved in the non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) process that corresponds to the major activity responsible for cell survival after ionizing radiation or chemotherapeutic treatment producing DNA double strand breaks. DNA-PK belongs to the PI3-K related kinase family and specific inhibitors have been recently selected and evaluated as radio- and chemo-sensitizers. These drugs, along with other ways to inhibit the DSBs repair process, are presented and discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / drug effects*
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / radiation effects
  • DNA Damage*
  • DNA Repair*
  • DNA-Activated Protein Kinase / drug effects*
  • DNA-Activated Protein Kinase / radiation effects*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy*


  • CIB1 protein, human
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • DNA-Activated Protein Kinase