Homologous recombination (HR) serves to repair DNA double-strand breaks and damaged replication forks and is essential for maintaining genome stability and tumor suppression. HR capacity also determines the efficacy of anticancer therapy. Hence, there is an urgent need to better understand all HR proteins and sub-pathways. An emerging protein that is critical for RAD51-mediated HR is RAD51-associated protein 1 (RAD51AP1). Although much has been learned about its biochemical attributes, the precise molecular role of RAD51AP1 in the HR reaction is not yet fully understood. The available literature also suggests that RAD51AP1 expression may be relevant for cancer development and progression. Here, we review the efforts that led to the discovery of RAD51AP1 and elaborate on our current understanding of its biochemical profile and biological function. We also discuss how RAD51AP1 may help to promote cancer development and why it could potentially represent a promising new target for therapeutic intervention.
Keywords: Cancer; Cancer therapy; DNA double-strand breaks; DNA repair; Genome stability; Homologous recombination; RAD51AP1; Replication.
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