The tumor suppressor BRCA2 is essential for homologous recombination (HR), replication fork stability, and DNA interstrand crosslink repair in vertebrates. We identify HSF2BP, a protein previously described as testis specific and not characterized functionally, as an interactor of BRCA2 in mouse embryonic stem cells, where the 2 proteins form a constitutive complex. HSF2BP is transcribed in all cultured human cancer cell lines tested and elevated in some tumor samples. Inactivation of the mouse Hsf2bp gene results in male infertility due to a severe HR defect during spermatogenesis. The BRCA2-HSF2BP interaction is highly evolutionarily conserved and maps to armadillo repeats in HSF2BP and a 68-amino acid region between the BRC repeats and the DNA binding domain of human BRCA2 (Gly2270-Thr2337) encoded by exons 12 and 13. This region of BRCA2 does not harbor known cancer-associated missense mutations and may be involved in the reproductive rather than the tumor-suppressing function of BRCA2. BRCA2 is a key homologous recombination mediator in vertebrates. Brandsma et al. show that it directly interacts with a testis-expressed protein, HSF2BP, and that male mice deficient for HSF2BP are infertile due to a meiotic recombination defect. They also find that HSF2BP contributes to DNA repair in mouse embryonic stem cells.

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Keywords BRCA2, homologous recombination, HSF2BP, meiosis, spermatogenesis
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Journal Cell Reports
Brandsma, I, Sato, K. (Koichi), van Rossum-Fikkert, S.E, van Vliet, N, Sleddens, E, Reuter, M, … Zelensky, A. (2019). HSF2BP Interacts with a Conserved Domain of BRCA2 and Is Required for Mouse Spermatogenesis. Cell Reports. doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2019.05.096