The multiple nuclear functions of BRCA1: transcription, ubiquitination and DNA repair

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2003 Jun;15(3):345-50. doi: 10.1016/s0955-0674(03)00042-5.


Interest in BRCA1 stems from its role as a tumour suppressor in breast and ovarian cancer. Intensive research in BRCA1 has revealed little about its specific role in cancer; rather, this protein has been implicated in a multitude of important cellular processes. The diverse biochemical activities of BRCA1 combine to protect the genome from damage. New data reveal that BRCA1 transcriptionally regulates some DNA-repair genes, and, in addition, new roles for BRCA1 have been identified in heterochromatin formation on the X chromosome, double-strand-break repair, and ubiquitination. These diverse activities of BRCA1 may be linked in a single pathway, or BRCA1 might function in multiple nuclear processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • BRCA1 Protein / genetics*
  • BRCA1 Protein / metabolism*
  • Cell Nucleus / physiology
  • DNA Repair / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Transcription, Genetic / physiology*
  • Ubiquitin / metabolism*


  • BRCA1 Protein
  • Ubiquitin