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Abnormalities precipitated by a targeted truncation in the murine gene Brca2 define its involvement in DNA repair. In culture, cells harboring truncated Brca2 exhibit a proliferative impediment that worsens with successive passages. Arrest in the G1 and G2/M phases is accompanied by elevated p53 and p21 expression. Increased sensitivity to genotoxic agents, particularly ultraviolet light and methylmethanesulfonate, shows that Brca2 function is essential for the ability to survive DNA damage. But checkpoint activation and apoptotic mechanisms are largely unaffected, thereby implicating Brca2 in repair. This is substantiated by the spontaneous accumulation of chromosomal abnormalities, including breaks and aberrant chromatid exchanges. These findings define a function of Brca2 in DNA repair, whose loss precipitates replicative failure, mutagen sensitivity, and genetic instability reminiscent of Bloom syndrome and Fanconi anemia.

Original publication




Journal article


Mol Cell

Publication Date





347 - 357


Animals, Apoptosis, B-Lymphocytes, BRCA2 Protein, Cell Division, Cells, Cultured, Chromosome Aberrations, Chromosome Disorders, Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21, Cyclins, DNA, DNA Damage, DNA Nucleotidyltransferases, DNA Repair, Fetus, Fibroblasts, Gene Expression, Liver, Mice, Mutagenesis, Neoplasm Proteins, Recombination, Genetic, Transcription Factors, Tumor Suppressor Protein p53, VDJ Recombinases