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Nat Commun. 2017 Jul 26;8(1):137. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-00206-2.

Ubiquitin-specific protease 21 stabilizes BRCA2 to control DNA repair and tumor growth.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Receptor Biology and Gene Expression, National Cancer Institute, 41 Library Drive, Bethesda, MD, 20892, USA.
2
Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis, National Cancer Institute, Building 37, Bethesda, MD, 20892, USA.
3
Laboratory of Receptor Biology and Gene Expression, National Cancer Institute, 41 Library Drive, Bethesda, MD, 20892, USA. Philipp.Oberdoerffer@nih.gov.

Abstract

Tumor growth relies on efficient DNA repair to mitigate the detrimental impact of DNA damage associated with excessive cell division. Modulating repair factor function, thus, provides a promising strategy to manipulate malignant growth. Here, we identify the ubiquitin-specific protease USP21 as a positive regulator of BRCA2, a key mediator of DNA repair by homologous recombination. USP21 interacts with, deubiquitinates and stabilizes BRCA2 to promote efficient RAD51 loading at DNA double-strand breaks. As a result, depletion of USP21 decreases homologous recombination efficiency, causes an increase in DNA damage load and impairs tumor cell survival. Importantly, BRCA2 overexpression partially restores the USP21-associated survival defect. Moreover, we show that USP21 is overexpressed in hepatocellular carcinoma, where it promotes BRCA2 stability and inversely correlates with patient survival. Together, our findings identify deubiquitination as a means to regulate BRCA2 function and point to USP21 as a potential therapeutic target in BRCA2-proficient tumors.BRCA2 is essential for the repair of DNA damage; therefore, defects in BRCA2 are associated with tumorigenesis but also with increased susceptibility to genotoxic stress. Here the authors show that USP21 regulates the ability of tumor cells to repair damaged DNA by regulating BRCA2 stability.

PMID:
28743957
PMCID:
PMC5526993
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-017-00206-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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