Function of BRCA1 in the DNA damage response is mediated by ADP-ribosylation

Cancer Cell. 2013 May 13;23(5):693-704. doi: 10.1016/j.ccr.2013.03.025.


Carriers of BRCA1 germline mutations are predisposed to breast and ovarian cancers. Accumulated evidence shows that BRCA1 is quickly recruited to DNA lesions and plays an important role in the DNA damage response. However, the mechanism by which BRCA1 is recruited to DNA damage sites remains elusive. BRCA1 forms a Ring-domain heterodimer with BARD1, a major partner of BRCA1 that contains tandem BRCA1 C-terminus (BRCT) motifs. Here, we identify the BRCTs of BARD1 as a poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR)-binding module. The binding of the BARD1 BRCTs to PAR targets the BRCA1/BARD1 heterodimer to DNA damage sites. Thus, our study uncovers a PAR-dependent mechanism of rapid recruitment of BRCA1/BARD1 to DNA damage sites.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Binding Sites
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • DNA Damage*
  • DNA Repair*
  • Humans
  • Phenanthrenes / pharmacology
  • Poly Adenosine Diphosphate Ribose / metabolism
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerase Inhibitors
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases / physiology
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / chemistry
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / physiology
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / chemistry
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / genetics
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / metabolism
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / physiology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • N-(oxo-5,6-dihydrophenanthridin-2-yl)-N,N-dimethylacetamide hydrochloride
  • Phenanthrenes
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerase Inhibitors
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Poly Adenosine Diphosphate Ribose
  • BARD1 protein, human
  • BRAP protein, human
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases