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DNA Repair (Amst). 2013 Apr 1;12(4):306-11. doi: 10.1016/j.dnarep.2012.12.007. Epub 2013 Feb 4.

BRCA2 is epistatic to the RAD51 paralogs in response to DNA damage.

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Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


Homologous recombination plays an important role in the high-fidelity repair of DNA double-strand breaks. A central player in this process, RAD51, polymerizes onto single-stranded DNA and searches for homology in a duplex donor DNA molecule, usually the sister chromatid. Homologous recombination is a highly regulated event in mammalian cells: some proteins have direct enzymatic functions, others mediate or overcome rate-limiting steps in the process, and still others signal cell cycle arrest to allow repair to occur. While the human BRCA2 protein has a clear role in delivering and loading RAD51 onto single-stranded DNA generated after resection of the DNA break, the mechanistic functions of the RAD51 paralogs remain unclear. In this study, we sought to determine the genetic interactions between BRCA2 and the RAD51 paralogs during DNA DSB repair. We utilized siRNA-mediated knockdown of these proteins in human cells to assess their impact on the DNA damage response. The results indicate that loss of BRCA2 alone imparts a more severe phenotype than the loss of any individual RAD51 paralog and that BRCA2 is epistatic to each of the four paralogs tested.

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