The DNA-dependent protein kinase, DNA-PK: 10 years and no ends in sight.

Biochemistry and cell biology = Biochimie et biologie cellulaire

PubMedID: 8960356

Lees-Miller SP. The DNA-dependent protein kinase, DNA-PK: 10 years and no ends in sight. Biochem Cell Biol. 1997;74(4):503-12.
The phenomenon of DNA-dependent protein phosphorylation was first described little over 10 years ago. Since then a DNA-dependent protein kinase, DNA-PK, has been purified from human cells and many of its biochemical properties have been characterized. DNA-PK is composed of a large catalytic subunit, DNA-PKcs, and a DNA-targeting protein, Ku. When assembled on a suitable DNA molecule, the DNA-PK holoenzyme acts as a serine/threonine protein kinase that in vitro phosphorylates many DNA binding and non-binding proteins and transcription factors. Recent genetic studies point strongly to functions in DNA double-strand break repair and V(D)J recombination. In addition, biochemical studies suggest a role in the regulation of transcription. Here we discuss, from a historical perspective, the events leading up to our current understanding of the function of DNA-PK, including recent results from our own studies suggesting the involvement of DNA-PK in apoptosis and in viral infection of human cells.