Intrinsic Disorder and Phosphorylation in BRCA2 Facilitate Tight Regulation of Multiple Conserved Binding Events

Nom de la revue
Manon Julien, Rania Ghouil, Ambre Petitalot, Sandrine M. Caputo, Aura Carreira, Sophie Zinn-Justin

The maintenance of genome integrity in the cell is an essential process for the accurate transmission of the genetic material. BRCA2 participates in this process at several levels, including DNA repair by homologous recombination, protection of stalled replication forks, and cell division. These activities are regulated and coordinated via cell-cycle dependent modifications. Pathogenic variants in BRCA2 cause genome instability and are associated with breast and/or ovarian cancers. BRCA2 is a very large protein of 3418 amino acids. Most well-characterized variants causing a strong predisposition to cancer are mutated in the C-terminal 700 residues DNA binding domain of BRCA2. The rest of the BRCA2 protein is predicted to be disordered. Interactions involving intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs) remain difficult to identify both using bioinformatics tools and performing experimental assays. However, the lack of well-structured binding sites provides unique functional opportunities for BRCA2 to bind to a large set of partners in a tightly regulated manner. We here summarize the predictive and experimental arguments that support the presence of disorder in BRCA2. We describe how BRCA2 IDRs mediate self-assembly and binding to partners during DNA double-strand break repair, mitosis, and meiosis. We highlight how phosphorylation by DNA repair and cell-cycle kinases regulate these interactions. We finally discuss the impact of cancer-associated variants on the function of BRCA2 IDRs and more generally on genome stability and cancer risk.