The repair gene BACH1 - a potential oncogene

Oncol Rev. 2021 Jul 2;15(1):519. doi: 10.4081/oncol.2021.519. eCollection 2021 Feb 26.


BACH1 encodes for a protein that belongs to RecQ DEAH helicase family and interacts with the BRCT repeats of BRCA1. The N-terminus of BACH1 functions in DNA metabolism as DNA-dependent ATPase and helicase. The C-terminus consists of BRCT domain, which interacts with BRCA1 and this interaction is one of the major regulator of BACH1 function. BACH1 plays important roles both in phosphorylated as well as dephosphorylated state and functions in coordination with multiple signaling molecules. The active helicase property of BACH1 is maintained by its dephosphorylated state. Imbalance between these two states enhances the development and progression of the diseased condition. Currently BACH1 is known as a tumor suppressor gene based on the presence of its clinically relevant mutations in different cancers. Through this review we have justified it to be named as an oncogene. In this review, we have explained the mechanism of how BACH1 in collaboration with BRCA1 or independently regulates various pathways like cell cycle progression, DNA replication during both normal and stressed situation, recombination and repair of damaged DNA, chromatin remodeling and epigenetic modifications. Mutation and overexpression of BACH1 are significantly found in different cancer types. This review enlists the molecular players which interact with BACH1 to regulate DNA metabolic functions, thereby revealing its potential for cancer therapeutics. We have identified the most mutated functional domain of BACH1, the hot spot for tumorigenesis, justifying it as a target molecule in different cancer types for therapeutics. BACH1 has high potentials of transforming a normal cell into a tumor cell if compromised under certain circumstances. Thus, through this review, we justify BACH1 as an oncogene along with the existing role of being a tumor suppressant.

Keywords: BACH1/BRIP1; Chl1p; Chromatin remodeling; genomic stability; tumorigenesis.

Grant support

Funding: this work is supported by Minority/fellowship/CR-97/2018-19 from Directorate of Minority, Government of Karnataka to K.M.N.