DNA-dependent protein kinase and its inhibition in support of radiotherapy
Purpose : Radiotherapy has been used as a treatment of almost 50% of all malignant tumors. The aim of this review is to provide a comprehensive overview of the recent knowledge in the field of molecular mechanisms of radiation-induced double-stranded breaks (DSB) repair. This paper gives particular emphasis to a key DNA repair enzyme, DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK), which plays a pivotal role in non-homologous end-joining. Furthermore, we discuss possibilities of DNA-PK inhibition and other molecular approaches employed in order to facilitate radiotherapy. Conclusions : We have reviewed the recent studies using novel potent and selective small-molecular DNA-PK inhibitors and we conclude that targeted inhibition of DNA repair proteins like DNA-PK in cancer cells, in combination with ionizing radiation, improves the efficacy of cancer therapy while minimizing side-effects of ionizing radiation. Moreover, the recent discovery of short interfering RNA (siRNA) and signal interfering DNA (siDNA)-based therapeutics, or small peptides and RNA, shows a new opportunity of selective and safe application of biological treatment. All of these approaches are believed to contribute to more personalized anti-cancer therapy.