Functional analysis of Drosophila melanogaster BRCA2 in DNA repair

DNA Repair (Amst). 2008 Jan 1;7(1):10-9. doi: 10.1016/j.dnarep.2007.07.013. Epub 2007 Sep 5.


The human BRCA2 cancer susceptibility protein functions in double-strand DNA break repair by homologous recombination and this pathway is conserved in the fly Drosophila melanogaster. Although a potential Drosophila melanogaster BRCA2 orthologue (dmbrca2; CG30169) has been identified by sequence similarity, no functional data addressing the role of this protein in DNA repair is available. Here, we demonstrate that depletion of dmbrca2 from Drosophila cells induces sensitivity to DNA damage induced by irradiation or treatment with hydroxyurea. Dmbrca2 physically interacts with dmrad51 (spnA) and the two proteins become recruited to nuclear foci after DNA damage. A functional assay for DNA repair demonstrated that in flies dmbrca2 plays a role in double-strand break repair by gene conversion. Finally, we show that depletion of dmbrca2 in cells is synthetically lethal with deficiency in other DNA repair proteins including dmparp. The conservation of the function of BRCA2 in Drosophila will allow the analysis of this key DNA repair protein in a genetically tractable organism potentially illuminating mechanisms of carcinogenesis and aiding the development of therapeutic agents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • BRCA2 Protein / physiology*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line
  • DNA Damage
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA Repair / physiology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique


  • BRCA2 Protein
  • DNA Primers