A route to new cancer therapies: the FA pathway is essential in BRCA1- or BRCA2-deficient cells

Mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes strongly predispose carriers to breast and ovarian cancers. Two new studies reveal that FANCD2, a key component of the Fanconi anemia pathway, is essential for the survival of cells with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. These findings pave the way for new 'synthetic lethal' strategies to kill BRCA-mutated cancers.

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Figure 1: FANCD2 protects replication forks and prevents cell death in cancers deficient in BRCA1 or BRCA2 (BRCA1/2).
Figure 2: Strategy to selectively target BRCA1- or BRCA2-deficient cancers by inhibiting FANCD2 function.

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Correspondence to John Rouse.

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Lachaud, C., Rouse, J. A route to new cancer therapies: the FA pathway is essential in BRCA1- or BRCA2-deficient cells. Nat Struct Mol Biol 23, 701–703 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/nsmb.3276

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