Guardians of the genome: BRCA2 and its partners

Hang Phuong Le, Wolf-Dietrich Heyer, Jie Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The tumor suppressor BRCA2 functions as a central caretaker of genome stability, and individuals who carry BRCA2 mutations are predisposed to breast, ovarian, and other cancers. Recent research advanced our mechanistic understanding of BRCA2 and its various interaction partners in DNA repair, DNA replication support, and DNA double-strand break repair pathway choice. In this review, we discuss the biochemical and structural properties of BRCA2 and examine how these fundamental properties contribute to DNA repair and replication fork stabilization in living cells. We highlight selected BRCA2 binding partners and discuss their role in BRCA2-mediated homologous recombination and fork protection. Improved mechanistic understanding of how BRCA2 functions in genome stability maintenance can enable experimental evidence-based evaluation of pathogenic BRCA2 mutations and BRCA2 pseudo-revertants to support targeted therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1229
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • BRCA2
  • DNA repair
  • Fork protection
  • Genome stability
  • Homologous recombination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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