BRCA1 is a large multi-domain protein with a pivotal role in maintaining genome stability and cell cycle progression. Germline mutations in the BRCA1 gene confer an estimated lifetime risk of 60%-80% for breast cancer and 15%-60% for ovarian cancer. Many of the germline mutations associated with cancer development are concentrated in the amino terminal RING domain and the carboxyl terminal BRCT motifs of BRCA1, which are the most well-characterized regions of the protein. The function of BRCA1 in DNA repair, transcription and cell cycle control through the DNA damage response is orchestrated through its association with an impressive repertoire of protein complexes. The association of BRCA1 with ATM/ATR, CHK2 and Aurora A protein kinases regulates cell cycle progression, whilst its association with RAD51 has a direct impact on the repair of double strand DNA breaks (DSBs) by homologous recombination (HR). BRCA1 interactions with the MRN complex of proteins, with the BRCC complex of proteins that exhibit E3 ligase activity and with the phosphor proteins CtIP, BACH1 (BRIP1) and Abraxas (CCDC98) are also implicated in DNA repair mechanisms and cell cycle checkpoint control. BRCA1 through its association with specific proteins and multi-protein complexes is a sentinel of the normal cell cycle control and DNA repair.
- Cell cycle checkpoint regulation
- DNA repair damage response
- E3 ligase