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Oncogene. 2013 Oct 17;32(42):5005-16. doi: 10.1038/onc.2012.522. Epub 2012 Dec 17.

BRCA1 targets G2/M cell cycle proteins for ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation.

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1] Department of Human Science, SNHS, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA [2] Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA.


The BRCA1 tumor suppressor protein heterodimerizes with its partner protein, BARD1, via the RING domain present in both proteins. The heterodimer contains an E3 ubiquitin ligase activity and participates in multiple cellular functions such as cell cycle control, DNA repair and regulation of gene transcription, collectively aimed at maintaining genomic stability and tumor suppression. Yet, the precise role of BRCA1 E3 ligase in these cellular functions is poorly understood. We present data showing that BRCA1 ubiquitinates G2/M cell cycle proteins, cyclin B and Cdc25C, leading to their accelerated degradation via a mechanism that is independent of APC/C. BRCA1-dependent degradation of cyclin B and Cdc25C is reversed by proteasome inhibitors and is enhanced following DNA damage, which may represent a possible mechanism to prevent cyclin B and Cdc25C accumulation, a requirement for mitotic entry. Our data provide mechanistic insight into how BRCA1 E3 ligase activity regulates the G2/M cell cycle checkpoint and, thus, contributes to maintenance of genomic stability.

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