Microcephalin regulates BRCA2 and Rad51-associated DNA double-strand break repair

Xianglin Wu, Gourish Mondal, Xianshu Wang, Jianmin Wu, Lin Yang, Vernon S. Pankratz, Matthew Rowley, Fergus J. Couch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Microcephalin (MCPH1) is a BRCA1 COOH terminal (BRCT) domain containing protein involved in the cellular response to DNA damage that has been implicated in autosomal recessive primary microcephaly. MCPH1 is recruited to sites of DNA double-strand breaks by phosphorylated histone H2AX (γH2AX), but the mechanism by which MCPH1 contributes to the repair process remains to be determined. Here, we show that MCPH1 binds to BRCA2 and regulates the localization of BRCA2 and Rad51 at sites of DNA damage. The interaction occurs through the NH2 terminus of BRCA2 and the COOH terminal BRCT domains of MCPH1. Disruption of the interaction between MCPH1 and BRCA2 has no effect on the ability of BRCA2 to form a complex with Rad51 but is associated with substantially reduced levels of both BRCA2 and Rad51 at sites of DNA double-strand breaks. Uncoupling of MCPH1 from BRCA2 also interferes with Rad51-dependent and BRCA2-dependent homologous recombination repair activity. These results suggest that the role of MCPH1 in the DNA damage response is in part associated with the ability to localize BRCA2 to sites of DNA double-stand breaks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5531-5536
Number of pages6
JournalCancer research
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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