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New advances in the DNA damage response network of Fanconi anemia and BRCA proteins. FAAP95 replaces BRCA2 as the true FANCB protein.

Cell Cycle 2005 January
Fanconi anemia (FA) proteins function in a DNA damage response pathway that appears to be part of the network including breast cancer susceptibility gene products, BRCA1 and BRCA2. In response to DNA damage or replication signals, a nuclear FA core complex of at least 6 FA proteins (FANCA, FANCC, FANCE, FANCF, FANCG and FANCL) is activated and leads to monoubiquitination of the downstream FA protein, FANCD2. One puzzling question for this pathway is the role of BRCA2. A previous study has proposed that BRCA2 could be identical to two FA proteins: FANCD1, which functions either downstream or in a parallel pathway; and FANCB, which functions upstream of the FANCD2 monoubiquitination. Now, a new study shows that the real FANCB protein is not BRCA2, but a previously uncharacterized component of the FA core complex, FAAP95, suggesting that BRCA2 does not act upstream of the FA pathway. Interestingly, the newly discovered FANCB gene is X-linked and subject to X-inactivation. The presence of a single active copy of FANCB and its essentiality for a functional FA-BRCA pathway make it a potentially vulnerable component of the cellular machinery that maintains genomic integrity.

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