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BRCA2 protein characterized
The two hereditary breast cancer susceptibility genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, have roles in responding to DNA damage. When they are mutated or absent, the outcome is genomic instability, a contributory factor to cancer development. Studies on BRCA2 have been hampered by its large size, which made purification of the full-length protein challenging. Steve Kowalczykowski and colleagues now report the first in vitro characterization of full-length BRCA2, and delineate the different ways by which BRCA2 facilitates RAD51-mediated homologous recombination.
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