BRCA1, a 'complex' protein involved in the maintenance of genomic stability

Kienan I Savage*, D Paul Harkin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


BRCA1 is a major breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility gene, with mutations in this gene predisposing women to a very high risk of developing breast and ovarian tumours. BRCA1 primarily functions to maintain genomic stability via critical roles in DNA repair, cell cycle checkpoint control, transcriptional regulation, apoptosis and mRNA splicing. As a result, BRCA1 mutations often result in defective DNA repair, genomic instability and sensitivity to DNA damaging agents. BRCA1 carries out these different functions through its ability to interact, and form complexes with, a vast array of proteins involved in multiple cellular processes, all of which are considered to contribute to its function as a tumour suppressor. This review discusses and highlights recent research into the functions of BRCA1-related protein complexes and their roles in maintaining genomic stability and tumour suppression.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)630-646
Number of pages17
JournalThe FEBS Journal
Issue number4
Early online date02 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


  • Animals
  • BRCA1 Protein
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • DNA Damage
  • DNA Repair
  • Female
  • Genomic Instability
  • Humans


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