International Journal of Clinical Oncology

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 36–44 | Cite as

BRCA1 gene: function and deficiency

  • Miho Takaoka
  • Yoshio MikiEmail author
Invited Review Article


The BRCA1 protein, a hereditary breast and ovarian cancer-causing gene product, is known as a multifunctional protein that performs various functions in cells. It is well known, along with BRCA 2, to cause hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, but here we will specifically focus on BRCA1. We introduce the mechanism and the latest report on homologous recombination repair, replication, involvement in checkpoint regulation, transcription, chromatin remodeling, and cytoplasmic function (centrosome regulation, apoptosis, selective autophagy), and consider the possibility of carcinogenesis from inhibition of the intracellular functions in each. We also consider the possibility of drug development based on each function. Finally, we will explain, from data obtained through basic research, that an appropriate regimen is important for raising the response rate for poly (ADP)-ribose polymerase inhibitors, in the case of low susceptibility, iatrogenic toxicity, tolerance, etc.


BRCA1 Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer Gene mutation PARP inhibitor 



We thank all members of the Department of Molecular Genetics of the Tokyo Medical and Dental University who provided helpful discussion.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Yoshio Miki received honoraria from AstraZenaca Co., Ltd. Miho Takaoka has no conflict of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Japan Society of Clinical Oncology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular Genetics, Medical Research InstituteTokyo Medical and Dental UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Genetic Diagnosis, The Cancer InstituteJapanese Foundation for Cancer ResearchTokyoJapan

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