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A homologue of the breast cancer-associated gene BARD1 is involved in DNA repair in plants
The EMBO Journal, vol. 25, no. 18, pp. 4326-4337
hBRCA1 and hBARD1 are tumor suppressor proteins that are involved as heterodimer via ubiquitinylation in many cellular processes, such as DNA repair. Loss of BRCA1 or BARD1 results in early embryonic lethality and chromosomal instability. The Arabidopsis genome carries a BRCA1 homologue, and we were able to identify a BARD1 homologue. AtBRCA1 and the putative AtBARD1 protein are able to interact with each other as indicated by in vitro and in planta experiments. We have identified T-DNA insertion mutants for both genes, which show no visible phenotype under standard growth conditions and are fully fertile. Thus, in contrast to animals, both genes have no indispensable role during development and meiosis in plants. The two single as well as the double mutant are to a similar extent sensitive to mitomycin C, indicating an epistatic interaction in DNA crosslink repair. We could further demonstrate that in Arabidopsis BARD1 plays a prominent role in the regulation of homologous DNA repair in somatic cells.