Cell cycle checkpoints were initially presumed to function as a regulator of cell cycle machinery in response to different genotoxic stresses, and later found to play an important role in the process of tumorigenesis by acting as a guard against DNA over-replication. As a counterpart of checkpoint activation, the checkpoint recovery machinery is working in opposition, aiming to reverse the checkpoint activation and resume the normal cell cycle. The DNA damage response (DDR) and oncogene induced senescence (OIS) are frequently found in precancerous lesions, and believed to constitute a barrier to tumorigenesis, however, the DDR and OIS have been observed to be diminished in advanced cancers of most tissue origins. These findings suggest that when progressing from pre-neoplastic lesions to cancer, DNA damage checkpoint barriers are overridden. How the DDR checkpoint is bypassed in this process remains largely unknown. Activated cytokine and growth factor-signaling pathways were very recently shown to suppress the DDR and to promote uncontrolled cell proliferation in the context of oncovirus infection. In recent decades, data from cell line and tumor models showed that a group of checkpoint recovery proteins function in promoting tumor progression; data from patient samples also showed overexpression of checkpoint recovery proteins in human cancer tissues and a correlation with patients׳ poor prognosis. In this review, the known cell cycle checkpoint recovery proteins and their roles in DNA damage checkpoint recovery are reviewed, as well as their implications in cancer development. This review also provides insight into the mechanism by which the DDR suppresses oncogene-driven tumorigenesis and tumor progression.
Keywords: Carcinogenesis; Cell cycle checkpoints; DNA damage; Neoplasms; Oncogenes.
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