OCRFA Funded Study Discovers 3 Key Genes in Prevention and Treatment of BRCA1 and BRCA2 Tumors

(October 19, 2017) BRCA1 and BRCA2 are among the most frequently mutated genes in ovarian cancer. Studies conducted in the past two decades have shown that BRCA1 and BRCA2 play an essential role in protecting DNA from lesions that can lead to tumor formation. However, the factors that cause DNA lesions in BRCA1- and BRCA2-deficient cells have, until recently, remained poorly understood.

A new study published in Molecular Cell by Dr. Alberto Ciccia at Columbia University Medical Center (Taglialatela, Alvarez et al, Mol Cell, 2017) and supported by the OCRFA Liz Tilberis Early Career Award, discovered 3 novel genes (SMARCAL1, ZRANB3 and HLTF) that cause DNA lesions in BRCA1- and BRCA2-deficient cells, thus identifying promising targets for the prevention and treatment of ovarian tumors caused by BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations.