DNA repair pathways are triggered to maintain genetic stability and integrity when mammalian cells are exposed to endogenous or exogenous DNA-damaging agents. The deregulation of DNA repair pathways is associated with the initiation and progression of cancer. As the primary anti-cancer therapies, ionizing radiation and chemotherapeutic agents induce cell death by directly or indirectly causing DNA damage, dysregulation of the DNA damage response may contribute to hypersensitivity or resistance of cancer cells to genotoxic agents and targeting DNA repair pathway can increase the tumor sensitivity to cancer therapies. Therefore, targeting DNA repair pathways may be a potential therapeutic approach for cancer treatment. A better understanding of the biology and the regulatory mechanisms of DNA repair pathways has the potential to facilitate the development of inhibitors of nuclear and mitochondria DNA repair pathways for enhancing anticancer effect of DNA damage-based therapy.

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Published in Frontiers in Pharmacology, v. 11, article 629266.

© 2021 Li, Guan, Chen, Yang and Cheng

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This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China 81422051, 81472593, and 31401208 (YC).