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DNA damage checkpoint kinases in cancer

  • Hannah L. Smith (a1), Harriet Southgate (a2), Deborah A. Tweddle (a2) and Nicola J. Curtin (a1)


DNA damage response (DDR) pathway prevents high level endogenous and environmental DNA damage being replicated and passed on to the next generation of cells via an orchestrated and integrated network of cell cycle checkpoint signalling and DNA repair pathways. Depending on the type of damage, and where in the cell cycle it occurs different pathways are involved, with the ATM-CHK2-p53 pathway controlling the G1 checkpoint or ATR-CHK1-Wee1 pathway controlling the S and G2/M checkpoints. Loss of G1 checkpoint control is common in cancer through TP53, ATM mutations, Rb loss or cyclin E overexpression, providing a stronger rationale for targeting the S/G2 checkpoints. This review will focus on the ATM-CHK2-p53-p21 pathway and the ATR-CHK1-WEE1 pathway and ongoing efforts to target these pathways for patient benefit.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Nicola J. Curtin, E-mail:


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DNA damage checkpoint kinases in cancer

  • Hannah L. Smith (a1), Harriet Southgate (a2), Deborah A. Tweddle (a2) and Nicola J. Curtin (a1)


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