Understanding the roles of SFPQ in DNA damage repair pathway

SFPQ has been reported to play a role in DNA repair by direct interaction with the homologous recombinase, Rad51 and modulates its homologous-pairing and strand-exchange activity. The recruitment of SFPQ to DNA damage sites has been shown in vivo and the attenuation of SFPQ expression sensitises the cells to ionising radiation.

Interestingly, the region of Rad51 required for SFPQ binding overlaps with that required for interaction with BRCA2, the breast cancer susceptibility gene 2. This observation leads to the working hypothesis that SFPQ may compete with BRCA2 for interaction with Rad51 and that SFPQ may be an important regulator to modulate the interaction between Rad51 and BRCA2. This project focuses on the production of SFPQ-Rad51 and SFPQ-Rad51-BRCA2 complexes, and the biophysical and structural characterisation of these complexes.