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Breast cancer type 2 susceptibility (BRCA2) protein is crucial for initiating DNA damage repair after chemotherapy with DNA interstrand crosslinking agents or X-ray irradiation, which induces DNA double-strand breaks. BRCA2 contains a C-terminal RAD51-binding domain (CTRBD) that interacts with RAD51 oligomer-containing nucleofilaments. In this study, we investigated CTRBD expression in cells exposed to X-ray irradiation and mitomycin C treatment. Surprisingly, BRCA2 CTRBD expression in HeLa cells increased their resistance to X-ray irradiation and mitomycin C. Under endogenous BRCA2 depletion using shRNA, the sensitivities of the BRCA2-depleted cells with and without the CTRBD did not significantly differ. Thus, the resistance to X-ray irradiation conferred by an exogenous CTRBD required endogenous BRCA2 expression. BRCA2 CTRBD-expressing cells demonstrated effective RAD51 foci formation and increased homologous recombination efficiency, but not nonhomologous end-joining efficiency. To the best of our knowledge, our study is the first to report the ability of the BRCA2 functional domain to confer resistance to X-ray irradiation and mitomycin C treatment by increased homologous recombination efficiency. Thus, this peptide may be useful for protecting cells against X-ray irradiation or chemotherapeutic agents.


Zida Zhu, Taisuke Kitano, Masami Morimatsu, Arisa Tanaka, Ryo Morioka, Xianghui Lin, Koichi Orino, Yasunaga Yoshikawa. BRCA2 C-Terminal RAD51-Binding Domain Confers Resistance to DNA-Damaging Agents. International journal of molecular sciences. 2022 Apr 06;23(7)

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PMID: 35409418

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