Ataxia-telangiectasia mutated and the Mre11-Rad50-NBS1 complex: Promising targets for radiosensitization

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30 Citations (Scopus)


Radiotherapy plays a central part in cancer treatment, and use of radiosensitizing agents can greatly enhance this modality. Although studies have shown that several chemotherapeutic agents have the potential to increase the radiosensitivity of tumor cells, investigators have also studied a number of molecularly targeted agents as radiosensitizers in clinical trials based on reasonably promising pre-clinical data. Recent intense research into the DNA damage-signaling pathway revealed that ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and the Mrell-Rad50-NBSl (MRN) complex play central roles in DNA repair and cell cycle checkpoints and that these molecules are promising targets for radiosensitization. Researchers recently developed three ATM inhibitors (KU-55933, CGK733, and CP466722) and an MRN complex inhibitor (mirin) and showed that they have great potential as radiosensitizers of tumors in preclinical studies. Additionally, we showed that a telomerase-dependent oncolytic adenovirus that we developed (OBP-301 [telomelysin]) produces profound radiosensitizing effects by inhibiting the MRN complex via the adenoviral ElB55kDa protein. A recent Phase I trial in the United States determined that telomelysin was safe and well tolerated in humans, and this agent is about to be tested in combination with radiotherapy in a clinical trial based on intriguing preclinical data demonstrating that telomelysin and ionizing radiation can potentiate each other. In this review, we highlight the great potential of ATM and MRN complex inhibitors, including telomelysin, as radiosensitizing agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-92
Number of pages10
JournalActa medica Okayama
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • ATM (ataxia-telangiectasia mutated)
  • Adenovirus
  • ElB55kDa
  • MRN (Mrell-Rad50-NBSl) complex
  • Radiosensitization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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