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DNA Repair (Amst). 2008 Mar 1;7(3):476-86. doi: 10.1016/j.dnarep.2007.12.009. Epub 2008 Feb 6.

MEN1 and FANCD2 mediate distinct mechanisms of DNA crosslink repair.

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Department of Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520-8005, USA.


Cells mutant for multiple endocrine neoplasia type I (MEN1) or any of the Fanconi anemia (FA) genes are hypersensitive to the killing effects of crosslinking agents, but the precise roles of these genes in the response to interstrand crosslinks (ICLs) are unknown. To determine if MEN1 and the FA genes function cooperatively in the same repair process or in distinct repair processes, we exploited Drosophila genetics to compare the mutation frequency and spectra of MEN1 and FANCD2 mutants and to perform genetic interaction studies. We created a novel in vivo reporter system in Drosophila based on the supF gene and showed that MEN1 mutant flies were extremely prone to single base deletions within a homopolymeric tract. FANCD2 mutants, on the other hand, had a mutation frequency and spectrum similar to wild type using this assay. In contrast to the supF results, both MEN1 and FANCD2 mutants were hypermutable using a different assay based on the lats tumor suppressor gene. The lats assay showed that FANCD2 mutants had a high frequency of large deletions, which the supF assay was not able to detect, while large deletions were rare in MEN1 mutants. Genetic interaction studies showed that neither overexpression nor loss of MEN1 modified the ICL sensitivity of FANCD2 mutants. The strikingly different mutation spectra of MEN1 and FANCD2 mutants together with lack of evidence for genetic interaction between these genes indicate MEN1 plays an essential role in ICL repair distinct from the Fanconi anemia genes.

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