Inhibition of the DNA-Dependent Protein Kinase for Cancer Therapy
The catalytic activity of DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) is central to its ability to repair lethal DNAdouble strand breaks (DSBs). This includes repair of DSB lesions following therapeutic treatment of cancer cells or resulting from oxidative stress or oncogene-induced transcription. As a tactic to induce tumour chemo- and radio-sensitisation, numerous attempts have been made to identify small molecule inhibitors of DNA-PK activity. This review examines the structures of known reversible and irreversible inhibitors, including those based upon chromen-4-one, arylmorpholine, and benzaldehyde scaffolds. VX-984 and M3814 are recent examples of DNA-PK catalytic inhibitors that have progressed into clinical development, the results from which should help to further advance our understanding of whether this approach represents a promising therapeutic strategy for the treatment of cancer.