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Ataxia teleangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase, ATM-Rad3-related (ATR) kinase and DNA-protein kinase (DNA-PK) belong to a subgroup of protein kinases which play a role in the DNA damage response. In this study, cisplatin was shown to increase ATR activity and decrease ATM and DNA-PK activity. Caffeine, a nonspecific inhibitor of ATR, enhanced the cytotoxic effect of cisplatin, modestly decreased the p53 and p21WAF-1 response to cisplatin, and affected the cdc2-p34/cyclin B1 complex by decreasing both cyclin B1 protein accumulation and cdc2-p34 tyrosine 15 phosphorylation. The observed alteration of several potential ATR downstream targets suggests that inhibition of ATR activity may be one of the mechanism by which caffeine regulates sensitivity to cisplatin.