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, 3 (10), 531-9

The Role of the BRCA1 Tumor Suppressor in DNA Double-Strand Break Repair


The Role of the BRCA1 Tumor Suppressor in DNA Double-Strand Break Repair

Junran Zhang et al. Mol Cancer Res.


The tumor suppressor gene BRCA1 was cloned in 1994 based on its linkage to early-onset breast and ovarian cancer. Although the BRCA1 protein has been implicated in multiple cellular functions, the precise mechanism that determines its tumor suppressor activity is not defined. Currently, the emerging picture is that BRCA1 plays an important role in maintaining genomic integrity by protecting cells from double-strand breaks (DSB) that arise during DNA replication or after DNA damage. The DSB repair pathways available in mammalian cells are homologous recombination and nonhomologous end-joining. BRCA1 function seems to be regulated by specific phosphorylations in response to DNA damage and we will focus this review on the roles played by BRCA1 in DNA repair and cell cycle checkpoints. Finally, we will explore the idea that tumor suppression by BRCA1 depends on its control of DNA DSB repair, resulting in the promotion of error-free and the inhibition of error-prone recombinational repair.

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