FANCG promotes formation of a newly identified protein complex containing BRCA2, FANCD2 and XRCC3.
Fanconi anemia (FA) is a human disorder characterized by cancer susceptibility and cellular sensitivity to DNA crosslinks and other damages. Thirteen complementation groups and genes are identified, including BRCA2, which is defective in the FA-D1 group. Eight of the FA proteins, including FANCG, participate in a nuclear core complex that is required for the monoubiquitylation of FANCD2 and FANCI. FANCD2, like FANCD1/BRCA2, is not part of the core complex, and we previously showed direct BRCA2-FANCD2 interaction using yeast two-hybrid analysis. We now show in human and hamster cells that expression of FANCG protein, but not the other core complex proteins, is required for co-precipitation of BRCA2 and FANCD2. We also show that phosphorylation of FANCG serine 7 is required for its co-precipitation with BRCA2, XRCC3 and FANCD2, as well as the direct interaction of BRCA2-FANCD2. These results argue that FANCG has a role independent of the FA core complex, and we propose that phosphorylation of serine 7 is the signalling event required for forming a discrete complex comprising FANCD1/BRCA2-FANCD2-FANCG-XRCC3 (D1-D2-G-X3). Cells that fail to express either phospho-Ser7-FANCG, or full length BRCA2 protein, lack the interactions amongst the four component proteins. A role for D1-D2-G-X3 in homologous recombination repair (HRR) is supported by our finding that FANCG and the RAD51-paralog XRCC3 are epistatic for sensitivity to DNA crosslinking compounds in DT40 chicken cells. Our findings further define the intricate interface between FANC and HRR proteins in maintaining chromosome stability.