The Role of PALB2 in the DNA Damage Response and Cancer Predisposition

Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Aug 31;18(9):1886. doi: 10.3390/ijms18091886.


The deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage response (DDR) is a major feature in the maintenance of genome integrity and in the suppression of tumorigenesis. PALB2 (Partner and Localizer of Breast Cancer 2 (BRCA2)) plays an important role in maintaining genome integrity through its role in the Fanconi anemia (FA) and homologous recombination (HR) DNA repair pathways. Since its identification as a BRCA2 interacting partner, PALB2 has emerged as a pivotal tumor suppressor protein associated to hereditary cancer susceptibility to breast and pancreatic cancers. In this review, we discuss how other DDR proteins (such as the kinases Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated (ATM) and ATM- and Rad3-Related (ATR), mediators BRCA1 (Breast Cancer 1)/BRCA2 and effectors RAD51/DNA Polymerase η (Polη) interact with PALB2 to orchestrate DNA repair. We also examine the involvement of PALB2 mutations in the predisposition to cancer and the role of PALB2 in stimulating error-free DNA repair through the FA/HR pathway.

Keywords: Breast Cancer 1 (BRCA1); Breast Cancer 2 (BRCA2); DNA double strand break; Fanconi Anemia Group N protein (FANCN); Fanconi anemia; Partner and Localizer of BRCA2 (PALB2); cancer predisposition; deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage response; homologous recombination.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Damage*
  • Fanconi Anemia Complementation Group N Protein* / genetics
  • Fanconi Anemia Complementation Group N Protein* / metabolism
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genomic Instability*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Recombinational DNA Repair*


  • Fanconi Anemia Complementation Group N Protein
  • PALB2 protein, human