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J Biol Chem. 2003 Jan 17;278(3):2015-20. Epub 2002 Nov 8.

Cell cycle differences in DNA damage-induced BRCA1 phosphorylation affect its subcellular localization.

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  • 1Derald H. Ruttenberg Cancer Center, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York University, New York, New York 10029, USA.


Phosphorylation of BRCA1 tumor suppressor protein is regulated during the cell cycle and in response to DNA damage. Several Ser/Thr kinases have been implicated in BRCA1 phosphorylation, including ATM/ATR, cdk2, and hChk2 kinases. In this study, phospho-Ser-specific antibodies recognizing Ser-988, -1423, -1497, and -1524 residues of BRCA1 were employed to study BRCA1 phosphorylation during the S and G2/M phases under conditions of DNA damage. We observed that IR (ionizing radiation) treatment induced phosphorylation of Ser-988/Ser-1524 during the S phase and of Ser-988/Ser-1423 during the G2/M phase. UV treatment induced phosphorylation of Ser-988 during the S phase and of Ser-1423 during the G2/M phase. Phosphorylation of serines 1423 and -1524 was not induced in HCC1937 breast cancer cells, which contain mutant BRCA1 protein. Confocal microscopy revealed that unphosphorylated BRCA1 localizes on chromosomes from metaphase through telophase, whereas Ser-988-phosphorylated BRCA1 resides in the inner chromosomal structure, centrosome, and the cleavage furrow during prophase through telophase. We also found that Ser-988-phosphorylated BRCA1 relocalizes to the perinuclear region when cells are subjected to IR or UV radiation in the S phase. These results reinforce a model wherein phosphorylation of specific residues of BRCA1 after DNA damage affects its localization and function.

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