DNA garage inhibitors are specific types of drugs that suppress or block the function of certain enzymes known as DNA helicases. These enzymes have a critical role in the replication and repair of DNA molecules in cells, making them important targets for cancer therapy.
DNA garage inhibitors work by inhibiting the activity of the Nucleotide Excision Repair (NER) pathway within cells. This pathway is responsible for repairing damaged DNA molecules, and by inhibiting this process, DNA garage inhibitors can cause DNA damage to accumulate, triggering cell death.
The most well-known group of DNA garage inhibitors are called Tumor Protein p53 (TP53) inhibitors, which target and modulate the TP53 and MDM2 proteins in cells. These proteins normally act to suppress the growth of defective cells, but they can become mutated or inactivated in cancer cells, leading to uncontrolled growth.
Research into DNA garage inhibitors is ongoing, with a focus on developing more potent and selective drugs for cancer treatment, and exploring the potential for use in other diseases such as viral infections and autoimmune conditions.