This review focuses on DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK), which is the key regulator of canonical non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ), the predominant mechanism of DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair in mammals. DNA-PK consists of the DNA-binding Ku70/80 heterodimer and the catalytic subunit DNA-PKcs. They assemble at DNA ends, forming the active DNA-PK complex, which initiates NHEJ-mediated DSB repair. Paradoxically, both Ku and DNA-PKcs are associated with telomeres, and they play crucial roles in protecting the telomere against fusions. Herein, we discuss possible mechanisms and contributions of Ku and DNA-PKcs in telomere regulation.
Keywords: DNA–PK; Shelterin; Telomerase; Telomere; hnRNP–A1.
© The Author(s) 2020.