Role of CHK2 in cancer development

Clin Transl Oncol. 2008 Sep;10(9):538-42. doi: 10.1007/s12094-008-0248-5.


DNA repair pathways enable tumour cells to survive DNA damage induced by external agents such as therapeutic treatments. Signalling cascades involved in these pathways comprise the DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK), Ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM), ATM and Rad3 related (ATR) and checkpoint kinases I and 2 (Chk1/Chk2), among others. ATM and ATR phosphorylate, respectively, Chk2 and Chk1, leading to activation of checkpoints. Chk2 acts as a signal distributor, dispersing checkpoint signal to downstream targets such as p53, Cdc25A, Cdc25C, BRCA1 and E2F1. A role of Chk2 as a candidate tumour suppressor has been suggested based on both mouse genetics and somatic tumour studies. We will discuss here the possible role of this kinase in human carcinogenesis and the possibility to use it as a target to increment DNA damage in cancer cells in response to DNA-damaging therapies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Checkpoint Kinase 2
  • DNA Damage / drug effects
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / physiology*


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Checkpoint Kinase 2
  • CHEK2 protein, human
  • Chek2 protein, mouse
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases