DNA Damage as Target for Therapeutic Intervention
Prof. Thomas Efferth E-Mail
Director, Institute of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, Johannes-Gutenberg University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany
DNA damage is an ever-present challenge to all forms of life on earth and DNA repair is of fundamental importance to maintain the integrity of the genetic material. From endogenous and exogenous DNA damaging agents. Thus, it comes as no surprise that all organisms from pro- to eukaryotes have developed very efficient repair mechanisms during evolution of life of life on earth (e.g., direct lesion reversal, single-strand repair, double-strand repair, translesion synthesis). Nevertheless, DNA damage occur as rare event in the body and contributes to malignancies as initial step in tumorigenesis. DNA-damaging chemotherapeutics and radiotherapy belong to the standard armamentarium of cancer therapy. In the context of a tumor cells, the DNA repair machinery does not contribute to the health maintenance of the body but, by contrast, to resistance to DNA-damaging drugs and eventually to failure of chemotherapy and the death of cancer patients. While numerous compounds have been described in the past to inhibit DNA repair in tumor cells in an attempt to re-sensitize tumor cells to chemo- and radiotherapy. In the recent years, there has been a paradigm change from cytotoxic to targeted treatment to improve the efficacy and specificity of tumor therapy. In this context, DNA recognition and repair proteins gained much attention as exquisite targets for cancer therapy.
With the current special issue, we provide a forum to open an interdisciplinary discussion for scientists and clinicians from diverse disciplines to present innovative and thriving concepts how current cancer treatment could benefit from targeting DNA damage and repair. We welcome manuscript from diverse fields such as pharmacology (of synthetic and natural compounds), medicinal chemistry, cell and molecular biology, systems and network pharmacology, and all related disciplines in medicine dealing with DNA damage as target for therapeutic intervention.
The aim is to provide a comprehensive overview of the current understanding and span a bow from basic to translational and clinical aspects. This special issue should enable the reader to gain the fundamental knowledge of current cutting-edge research.
Keywords: Cell biology; DNA repair mechanisms; targeted chemo- and radiotherapy; medicinal chemistry; molecular biology; pharmacology; radiotherapy; oncology