Study Shows How Protein BRCA2 Works to Repair DNA

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Study Shows How Protein BRCA2 Works to Repair DNA

According to Wikipedia, “BRCA2 is a human tumor suppressor gene (specifically, a caretaker gene), found in all humans; its protein, also called by the synonym breast cancer type 2 susceptibility protein , is responsible for repairing DNA. ” Scientific studies have shown that mutations in the gene BRCA2 will raise the risk of breast cancer. Previous study statistics said that one in thousand people in the UK have a mutation in the gene BRCA2. Women with BRCA2 mutations can have a life time risk of breast cancer with 40 to 85 percent, while general people only have 12%. Moreover, mutations of this gene can also raise the risk of other cancers like prostate and pancreatic cancer. However, the shape and mechanism of this gene is a mystery.

To reveal the structure and mechanism of this gene, scientists in a recent study purified the protein and used electron microscopy. The study found that BRCA2 protein works in pairs with another protein called RAD51 . That is to say, BRCA2 helps RAD51 molecules to assemble on strands of broken DNA and form filaments. The RAD51 filaments then search for matching strands of DNA in order to repair the break .

This study is the first time to show how BRCA2 looks and how it works. If more details provided, it would be possible to design ways to correct defects in BRCA2 and help to repair DNA to prevent cancers like breast cancers.

Article link: Study Shows How Protein BRCA2 Works to Repair DNA

Tags: BRCA2, RAD51, cancer

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