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Anemia. 2012;2012:323721. doi: 10.1155/2012/323721. Epub 2012 May 30.

A DOG's View of Fanconi Anemia: Insights from C. elegans.

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  • 1Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4.


C. elegans provides an excellent model system for the study of the Fanconi Anemia (FA), one of the hallmarks of which is sensitivity to interstrand crosslinking agents. Central to our understanding of FA has been the investigation of DOG-1, the functional ortholog of the deadbox helicase FANCJ. Here we review the current understanding of the unique role of DOG-1 in maintaining stability of G-rich DNA in C. elegans and explore the question of why DOG-1 animals are crosslink sensitive. We propose a dynamic model in which noncovalently linked G-rich structures form and un-form in the presence of DOG-1. When DOG-1 is absent but crosslinking agents are present the G-rich structures are readily covalently crosslinked, resulting in increased crosslinks formation and thus giving increased crosslink sensitivity. In this interpretation DOG-1 is neither upstream nor downstream in the FA pathway, but works alongside it to limit the availability of crosslink substrates. This model reconciles the crosslink sensitivity observed in the absence of DOG-1 function with its unique role in maintaining G-Rich DNA and will help to formulate experiments to test this hypothesis.

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