Genotoxic anticancer drugs explicate their effects damaging DNA, thus triggering a coordinated
signal-transduction network called DNA Damage Response (DDR). Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated
(ATM) protein plays a central role in this response: activated by DNA damage, ATM phosphorylates
itself and downstream effectors that arrest cell cycle allowing for DNA repair or, should DNA
damage be too severe and not retrievable, inducing apoptosis. ATM is a worth-investigating target for
tumor radio- and chemosensitization. During last years, pharmaceutical industries and research laboratories
have developed a series of small molecules, capable to inhibit ATM with increasing specificity.
Several preclinical studies have demonstrated that these inhibitors alone or in association with other
treatments may improve therapeutic outcomes. In this review we discuss ATM inhibitors so far developed, focussing on
recent acquisitions on their potential antineoplastic usefulness.
Keywords: ATM, chemotherapy, glioma, inhibitor, radiotherapy, resistance, sensitization.
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