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Oncogene. 1999 Jun 3;18(22):3427-30.

Mutations in the RAD54 recombination gene in primary cancers.

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Department of Molecular Pathology, Research Institute for Radiation Biology and Medicine, Hiroshima University, Japan.


Association of a recombinational repair protein RAD51 with tumor suppressors BRCA1 and BRCA2 suggests that defects in homologous recombination are responsible for tumor formation. Also recent findings that a protein associated with the MRE11/RAD50 repair complex is mutated in Nijmegen breakage syndrome characterized by increased cancer incidence and ionizing radiation sensitivity strongly support this idea. However, the direct roles of BRCA proteins and the protein responsible for NBS in recombinational repair are not clear though they are associated with the recombinational repair complexes. Since RAD51 forms a complex with other members of the RAD52 epistasis group and with BRCA proteins, it is reasonable to ask if alterations of members of the RAD52 epistasis group lead to tumor development. Here we describe missense mutations at functional regions of RAD54 and the absence of the wild-type RAD54 expression resulting from aberrant splicing in primary cancers. Since RAD54 is a recombinational protein associated with RAD51, this is the first genetic evidence that cancer arises from a defect in repair processes involving homologous recombination.

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