Purpose: The DNA protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) is one of the critical elements involved in the DNA damage repair process. Inhibition of DNA-PKcs results in hypersensitivity to ionizing radiation (IR); therefore, this approach has been explored to develop molecular targeted radiosensitizers. Here, we aimed to develop small inhibitory peptides that could specifically target DNA-PKcs autophosphorylation, a critical step for the enzymatic activation of the kinase in response to IR. Methods and Materials: We generated several small fusion peptides consisting of 2 functional domains, 1 an internalization domain and the other a DNA-PKcs autophosphorylation inhibitory domain. We characterized the internalization, toxicity, and radiosensitization activities of the fusion peptides. Furthermore, we studied the mechanisms of the inhibitory peptides on DNA-PKcs autophosphorylation and DNA repair. Results: We found that among several peptides, the biotin-labeled peptide 3 (BTW3) peptide, which targets DNA-PKcs threonine 2647 autophosphorylation, can abrogate IR-induced DNA-PKcs activation and cause prolonged γ-H2AX focus formation. We demonstrated that BTW3 exposure led to hypersensitivity to IR in DNA-PKcs-proficient cells but not in DNA-PKcs-deficient cells. Conclusions: The small inhibitory peptide BTW3 can specifically target DNA-PKcs autophosphorylation and enhance radiosensitivity; therefore, it can be further developed as a novel class of radiosensitizer.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics|
|State||Published - Dec 1 2012|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cancer Research