Deficient regulation of DNA double-strand break repair in Fanconi anemia fibroblasts

Sarah L. Donahue, Richard Lundberg, Rachel Saplis, Colin Campbell

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28 Scopus citations


Fibroblasts from patients with Fanconi anemia (FA) display genomic instability, hypersensitivity to DNA cross-linking agents, and deficient DNA end joining. Fibroblasts from two FA patients of unidentified complementation group also had significantly increased cellular homologous recombination (HR) activity. Results described herein show that HR activity levels in patient-derived FA fibroblasts of groups A, C, and G were 10-fold greater than those seen in normal fibroblasts. In contrast, HR activity in group D2 fibroblasts was identical to that in normal cells. Western blot analysis revealed that the RAD51 protein was elevated 10-fold above normal levels in group A, C, and G fibroblasts, but was not altered in group D2 fibroblasts. HR activity levels in these former cells could be restored to near-normal levels by electroporation with anti-RAD51 antibody, whereas similar treatment of normal and complementation group D2 fibroblasts had no effect. These findings are consistent with a model in which FA proteins function to coordinate DNA double-strand break repair activity by regulating both recombinational and non-recombinational DNA repair. Interestingly, whereas positive regulation of DNA end joining requires the combined presence of all FA proteins thus far tested, suppression of HR, which is minimally dependent on the FANCA, FANCC, and FANCG proteins, does not require FANCD2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29487-29495
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 8 2003


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