The DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) is a serine/threonine protein kinase composed of a large catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) and the Ku70/80 heterodimer. Over the past two decades, significant progress has been made in elucidating the role of DNA-PK in non-homologous end joining (NHEJ), the major pathway for repair of ionizing radiation-induced DNA double strand breaks in human cells and recently, additional roles for DNA-PK have been reported. In this review, we will describe the biochemistry, structure and function of DNA-PK, its roles in DNA double strand break repair and its newly described roles in mitosis and other cellular processes.
Keywords: DNA-dependent protein kinase; Mitosis; Non-homologous end joining.
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