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Cancer Res. 2004 Jun 15;64(12):4148-54.

BRCA1 interacts with and is required for paclitaxel-induced activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase 3.

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Department of Oncology, Cancer Research Centre, Queens University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland.


BRCA1 has been implicated in a number of cellular processes, including transcriptional regulation, DNA damage repair, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis. We identified mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase kinase 3 (MEKK3), an upstream regulator of the c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase/stress-activated protein kinase and p38/MAPK pathways, as a novel BRCA1-interacting protein in a yeast two-hybrid screen and confirmed the interaction by coimmunoprecipitation in mammalian cells. Deletion mapping demonstrated that amino acids 1611-1863 are required to mediate the interaction with MEKK3 in yeast. BRCA1 disease-associated mutations abrogated the interaction in yeast, and BRCA1 failed to interact with MEKK3 in BRCA1 mutant HCC1937 breast cancer cells. We demonstrate that small interfering RNA-based inhibition of endogenous BRCA1 reduces MEKK3 kinase activity and conversely that inducible expression of BRCA1 activates MEKK3 and p38/MAPK. Finally, we demonstrate using complementary approaches that BRCA1 is required for paclitaxel-induced activation of MEKK3. These data indicate that BRCA1 is a key regulator of the paclitaxel-induced stress response pathway and suggest that the ability of BRCA1 to associate with, and mediate the activation of, MEKK3 represents a potential mechanism through which this pathway is regulated.

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