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Genome Integr. 2010 Nov 4;1(1):14. doi: 10.1186/2041-9414-1-14.

Time to bloom.

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National Institute of Immunology, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi 110067, India.


Bloom Syndrome (BS) is an autosomal recessive disorder due to mutation in Bloom helicase (referred in literature either as BLM helicase or BLM). Patients with BS are predisposed to almost all forms of cancer. BS patients are even today diagnosed in the clinics by hyper-recombination phenotype that is manifested by high rates of Sister Chromatid Exchange. The function of BLM as a helicase and its role during the regulation of homologous recombination (HR) is well characterized. However in the last few years the role of BLM as a DNA damage sensor has been revealed. For example, it has been demonstrated that BLM can stimulate the ATPase and chromatin remodeling activities of RAD54 in vitro. This indicates that BLM may increase the accessibility of the sensor proteins that recognize the lesion. Over the years evidence has accumulated that BLM is one of the earliest proteins that accumulates at the site of the lesion. Finally BLM also acts like a "molecular node" by integrating the upstream signals and acting as a bridge between the transducer and effector proteins (which again includes BLM itself), which in turn repair the DNA damage. Hence BLM seems to be a protein involved in multiple functions - all of which may together contribute to its reported role as a "caretaker tumor suppressor". In this review the recent literature documenting the upstream BLM functions has been elucidated and future directions indicated.

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