Turnover of BRCA1 involves in radiation-induced apoptosis

Weijun Liu, Wenjun Zong, George Wu, Takeo Fujita, Wenqi Li, Judy Wu, Yong Wan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Germ-line mutations of the breast cancer susceptibility gene-1 (BRCA1) increase the susceptibility to tumorigenesis. The function of BRCA1 is to regulate critical cellular processes, including cell cycle progression, genomic integrity, and apoptosis. Studies on the regulation of BRCA1 have focused intensely on transcription and phosphorylation mechanisms. Proteolytic regulation of BRCA1 in response to stress signaling remains largely unknown. The manuscript identified a novel mechanism by which BRCA1 is regulated by the ubiquitin-dependent degradation in response to ionization. Methodology/Principal Findings: Here, we report that severe ionization triggers rapid degradation of BRCA1, which in turn results in the activation of apoptosis. Ionization-induced BRCA1 turnover is mediated via an ubiquitin-proteasomal pathway. The stabilization of BRCA1 significantly delays the onset of ionization-induced apoptosis. We have mapped the essential region on BRCA1, which mediates its proteolysis in response to ionization. Moreover, we have demonstrated that BRCA1 protein is most sensitive to degradation when ionization occurs during G2/M and S phase. Conclusions/Significance: Our results suggest that ubiquitin-proteasome plays an important role in regulating BRCA1 during genotoxic stress. Proteolytic regulation of BRCA1 involves in ionization-induced apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14484
JournalPloS one
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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