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Newly discovered protein important for DNA repair

News: Mar 10, 2019

Newly discovered MEIBL2 in green.MEILB2 (green) localises the DNA damage sites along the chromosome axis (red) in a cell nucleus (blue).

Researchers at the University of Gothenburg have discovered a new protein that they consider to be of great importance for repairing DNA. The research results are now published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

The newly discovered protein is called MEIBL2. It helps a central protein (BRCA2) to repair DNA in germ cells.

- Failure to repair DNA strands can in the long run lead to infertility and other diseases and even cancer," says Hiroki Shibuya, associate senior lecturer at the University of Gothenburg and principal author of the article.

Plays an important role in DNA repair

In germs, DNA double-strand breaks occur naturally. These are necessary to create genetic variation between individuals.

Hiroki Shibuya- The double-strand breaks are repaired by the BRCA2 protein and the newly discovered partner protein MEIBL2 in germ cells, says Hiroki Shibuya.

He and his colleagues have found that the MEIBL2 protein plays an indispensable role in repairing DNA.

- Without its partner protein MEIBL2, the BRCA2 protein fails to repair DNA double-strand breaks. As a result, the germ cells die, leading to infertility and possibly other diseases.

Provides insight into several diseases

- Our discovery provides insights into several important diseases, such as Down's syndrome and azoospermia, a disease in which the sperm fluid lacks sperm.

According to the researchers, information in the public cancer database Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia (CCLE) indicates that the MEIBL2 protein also plays a role in breast and ovarian cancer cells.

Studying the newly discovered MEIBL2 protein in these cells may possibly reveal underlying molecular mechanisms in the development of breast and ovarian cancer in the future, says Hiroki Shibuya.

Article: A meiosis-specific BRCA2 binding protein recruits recombinases to DNA double-strand breaks to ensure homologous recombination

MEILB2 (green) localises the DNA damage sites along the chromosome axis (red) in a cell nucleus (blue).
Portrait of Hiroki Shibuya.

Hiroki Shibuya, Assistant Senior Lecturer at the Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg, mobile: 0700-06 07 79, e-mail: hiroki.shibuya@gu.se



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