New function of BRCA2 discovered by scientists from the Department of Radiation Biology

Syljusen (left) and Nhse-Kumpf
Syljusen (left) and Nhse-Kumpf
The breast cancer gene BRCA2 is known as a regulator of homologous recombination repair. In a large-scale siRNA screen performed to identify unknown regulators of the radiation-induced G2 checkpoint, BRCA2 was surprisingly found to also be a key regulator of the G2 checkpoint.

The results were published in EMBO Reports (journal impact factor 6.9) on June 3rd. The study was done in collaboration with researchers at BRIC Biocenter, Copenhagen University. Randi Syljuåsen from the Department of Radiation Biology is a shared corresponding author, Viola Nähse-Kumpf is 2nd author, and Christin Lund-Andersen is 5th author.

The G2 checkpoint was also found to be regulated by the BRCA2 binding partner PALB2, another breast cancer suppressor. BRCA2 and PALB2 are required for maintenance of G2 checkpoint arrest, and act upstream of the PLK1/ AURORA A checkpoint recovery pathway.

The checkpoint function of BRCA2 and PALB2 may contribute to their tumor suppressor function, and could potentially influence responses to cancer therapy.

The results have been confirmed by another independent G2 checkpoint siRNA screen published a week later in Science (C. Cotta-Ramusino et al. Science June 10th).

Links:

The EMBO Reports publication:
A genetic screen identifies BRCA2 and PALB2 as key regulators of G2 checkpoint maintenance.
Menzel T, Nähse-Kumpf V, Kousholt AN, Klein DK, Lund-Andersen C, Lees M, Johansen JV, Syljuåsen RG, Sørensen CS.
EMBO Rep. 2011 Jun 3. [Epub ahead of print] Link to PubMed

The Syljuåsen group

Department of Radiation Biology