Corrupting the DNA damage response: A critical role for Rad52 in tumor cell survival

Rachel Lieberman, Ming You

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The DNA damage response enables cells to survive, maintain genome integrity, and to safeguard the transmission of high-fidelity genetic information. Upon sensing DNA damage, cells respond by activating this multifaceted DNA damage response leading to restoration of the cell, senescence, programmed cell death, or genomic instability if the cell survives without proper repair. However, unlike normal cells, cancer cells maintain a marked level of genomic instability. Because of this enhanced propensity to accumulate DNA damage, tumor cells rely on homologous recombination repair as a means of protection from the lethal effect of both spontaneous and therapy-induced double-strand breaks (DSBs) in DNA. Thus, modulation of DNA repair pathways have important consequences for genomic instability within tumor cell biology and viability maintenance under high genotoxic stress. Efforts are underway to manipulate specific components of the DNA damage response in order to selectively induce tumor cell death by augmenting genomic instability past a viable threshold. New evidence suggests that RAD52, a component of the homologous recombination pathway, is important for the maintenance of tumor genome integrity. This review highlights recent reports indicating that reducing homologous recombination through inhibition of RAD52 may represent an important focus for cancer therapy and the specific efforts that are already demonstrating potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1647-1659
Number of pages13
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017


  • DNA damage response
  • Pre-clinical model
  • Rad52
  • Squamous cell carcinoma of the lung
  • Tumor growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Cell Biology


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