DNA repair pathways and their implication in cancer treatment.

Department of Medical Oncology, University General Hospital of Heraklion, Heraklion, Greece.
CANCER AND METASTASIS REVIEW (Impact Factor: 9.35). 12/2010; 29(4):677-85. DOI: 10.1007/s10555-010-9258-8
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Many cytotoxic agents used in cancer treatment exert their effects through their ability to directly or indirectly damage DNA and thus resulting in cell death. Major types of DNA damage induced by anticancer treatment include strand breaks (double or single strand), crosslinks (inter-strand, intra-strand, DNA-protein crosslinks), and interference with nucleotide metabolism and DNA synthesis. On the other hand, cancer cells activate various DNA repair pathways and repair DNA damages induced by cytotoxic drugs. The purpose of the current review is to present the major types of DNA damage induced by cytotoxic agents, DNA repair pathways, and their role as predictive agents, as well as evaluate the future perspectives of the novel DNA repair pathways inhibitors in cancer therapeutics.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The DNA damage-mediated cell cycle checkpoint is an essential mechanism in the DNA damage response (DDR). During embryonic development, the characteristics of cell cycle and DNA damage checkpoint evolve from an extremely short G1 cell phase and lacking G1 checkpoint to lengthening G1 phase and the establishment of the G1 checkpoint. However, the regulatory mechanisms governing these transitions are not well understood. In this study, pregnant mice were exposed to ionizing radiation (IR) to induce DNA damage at different embryonic stages; the kinetics and mechanisms of the establishment of DNA damage-mediated G1 checkpoint in embryonic liver were investigated.
    BMC Developmental Biology 05/2014; 14(1):23. · 2.75 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Thousands of DNA lesions are estimated to occur in each cell every day and almost all are recognized and repaired. DNA repair is an essential system that prevents accumulation of mutations which can lead to serious cellular malfunctions. Phenotypic evaluation of DNA repair activity of individuals is a relatively new approach. Methods to assess base and nucleotide excision repair pathways (BER and NER) in peripheral blood cells based on modified comet assay protocols have been widely applied in human epidemiological studies. These provided some interesting observations of individual DNA repair activity being suppressed among cancer patients. However, extension of these results to cancer target tissues requires a different approach. Here we describe the evaluation of BER and NER activities in extracts from deep-frozen colon biopsies using an upgraded version of the in vitro comet-based DNA repair assay in which 12 reactions on one microscope slide can be performed. The aim of this report is to provide a detailed, easy-to-follow protocol together with results of optimization experiments. Additionally, results obtained by functional assays were analyzed in the context of other cellular biomarkers, namely single nucleotide polymorphisms and gene expressions. We have shown that measuring DNA repair activity is not easily replaceable by genomic or transcriptomic approaches, but should be applied with the latter techniques in a complementary manner. The ability to measure DNA repair directly in cancer target tissues might finally answer questions about the tissue-specificity of DNA repair processes and their real involvement in the process of carcinogenesis.
    Frontiers in Genetics 01/2014; 5:116.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Gene expression is governed by chromatin mainly through posttranslational modifications at the N-terminal tails of nucleosomal histone proteins. According to the histone code theory, peculiar sets of such modifications (marks) give rise to reproducible final effects on transcription and, very recently, a further level of complexity has been highlighted in binary switches between specific marks at adjacent residues. In particular, disappearance of dimethyl-lysine 9 in histone H3 is faced by phosphorylation of the following serine during activation of gene expression. Demethylation of lysine 9 by the lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1) is a pre-requisite for addition of the phosphoryl mark to serine 10 and an essential step in the transcriptional control by estrogens. It generates a local burst of oxygen reactive species (ROS) that induce oxidation of nearby nucleotides and recruitment of repair enzymes with a consequent formation of single or double stranded nicks on DNA that modify chromatin flexibility in order to allow correct assembly of the transcriptional machinery. We describe here the molecular mechanism by which members of the family of nuclear receptors prevent the potential damage to DNA during transcription of target genes elicited by the use of ROS to shape chromatin. The mechanism is based on the presence of phosphorylated serine 10 in histone H3 to prevent unbalanced DNA oxidation waves. We also discuss the opportunities raised by the use of voluntary derangement of this servo system to induce selective death in hormone-responsive transformed cells.
    Nucleus (Austin, Texas) 08/2014; 5(5). · 3.15 Impact Factor