Indexed on: 09 Apr '99Published on: 09 Apr '99Published in: Biological chemistry
About half of the familial breast cancer cases are found to bear mutations in the breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 (BRCA1). The majority of BRCA1 mutations produce a truncated protein and BRCA1-associated breast tumors exhibit a number of defined tumor phenotypes. The function of BRCA1 has been examined in gene knockout mice in which the nullizygous mice die early in utero, but this lethality can be partially rescued by a nullizygous p53 mutation. Wild-type BRCA1 protein binds to a number of cellular proteins, including DNA repair protein Rad51, tumor suppressor p53, RNA polymerase II holoenzyme, RNA helicase A, CtBP-interacting protein, c-myc, BRCA1-associated RING domain protein (BARD1), BRCA2 protein, etc. These proteins likely mediate the involvement of BRCA1 in DNA repair, transcriptional transactivation, and cell cycle control. Overall, BRCA1 protein may act as a converging vehicle for cell regulatory proteins to associate with. Therefore, mutations in BRCA1 may affect the composition of these complexes on which dysregulation of cellular functions with eventual development of malignancy is expected.