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vol. 104

Essential role of the BRCA2B gene in somatic homologous recombination in Arabidopsis thaliana

Padinhatta Purayil Amritha
Jasmine M. Shah

Department of Plant Science, Central University of Kerala, Kasaragod, Kerala, India
BioTechnologia vol. 104(4) ∙ pp. 371–380 ∙ 2023
Online publish date: 2023/12/21
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Constant exposure to various environmental and endogenous stresses can cause structural DNA damage, resulting in genome instability. Higher eukaryotic cells deploy conserved DNA repair systems, which include various DNA repair pathways, to maintain genome stability. Homologous recombination (HR), one of these repair pathways, involves multiple proteins. BRCA2, one of the proteins in the HR pathway, is of substantial research interest in humans because it is an oncogene. However, the study of this gene is limited due to the lack of availability of homozygous BRCA2-knockout mutants in mammals, which results in embryonic lethality. Arabidopsis thaliana has two copies of the BRCA2 homologs: BRCA2A and BRCA2B. Therefore, the single mutants remain nonlethal and fertile in Arabidopsis. The BRCA2A homolog, which plays a significant role in the HR pathway of germline cells and during the defense response, is well-studied in Arabidopsis. Our study focuses on the functional characterization of the BRCA2B homolog in the somatic cells of Arabidopsis, using the homozygous ΔBRCA2B mutant line. The phenotypic differences of ΔBRCA2B mutants were characterized and compared with wild Arabidopsis plants. The role of BRCA2B in spontaneous somatic HR (SHR) was studied using the ΔBRCA2B-gus detector line. ΔBRCA2B plants have a 6.3-fold lower SHR frequency than the control detector plants. Expression of four other HR pathway genes, including BRE, BRCC36A, RAD50, and RAD54, was significantly reduced in ΔBRCA2B mutants. Thus, our findings convey that the BRCA2B homolog plays an important role in maintaining spontaneous SHR rates and has a direct or indirect regulatory effect on the expression of other HR-related genes.

Arabidopsis thaliana, BRCA2B gene, detector line, somatic homologous recombination

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