Seminars in cancer biology | 6 Dec 2018
MJ Mughal, R Mahadevappa and HF Kwok
DNA replication is all-or-none process in the cell, meaning, once the DNA replication begins it proceeds to completion. Hence, to achieve maximum control of DNA replication, eukaryotic cells employ a multi-subunit initiator protein complex known as “pre-replication complex or DNA replication licensing complex (DNA replication LC). This complex involves multiple proteins which are origin-recognition complex family proteins, cell division cycle-6, chromatin licensing and DNA replication factor 1, and minichromosome maintenance family proteins. Higher-expression of DNA replication LC proteins appears to be an early event during development of cancer since it has been a common hallmark observed in a wide variety of cancers such as oesophageal, laryngeal, pulmonary, mammary, colorectal, renal, urothelial etc. However, the exact mechanisms leading to the abnormally high expression of DNA replication LC have not been clearly deciphered. Increased expression of DNA replication LC leads to licensing and/or firing of multiple origins thereby inducing replication stress and genomic instability. Therapeutic approaches where the reduction in the activity of DNA replication LC was achieved either by siRNA or shRNA techniques, have shown increased sensitivity of cancer cell lines towards the anti-cancer drugs such as cisplatin, 5-Fluorouracil, hydroxyurea etc. Thus, the expression level of DNA replication LC within the cell determines a cell’s fate thereby creating a paradox where DNA replication LC acts as both "Saint” and “Sinner”. With a potential to increase sensitivity to chemotherapy drugs, DNA replication LC proteins have prospective clinical importance in fighting cancer. Hence, in this review, we will shed light on importance of DNA replication LC with an aim to use DNA replication LC in diagnosis and prognosis of cancer in patients as well as possible therapeutic targets for cancer therapy.
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