Effects of tumor-associated mutations on Rad54 functions

Marina Smirnova, Stephen Van Komen, Patrick Sung, Hannah L. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Yeast RAD54 gene, a member of the RAD52 epistasis group, plays an important role in homologous recombination and DNA double strand break repair. Rad54 belongs to the Snf2/Swi2 protein family, and it possesses a robust DNA-dependent ATPase activity, uses free energy from ATP hydrolysis to supercoil DNA, and cooperates with the Rad51 recombinase in DNA joint formation. There are two RAD54-homologous genes in human cells, hRAD54 and RAD54B. Mutations in these human genes have been found in tumors. These tumor-associated mutations map to conserved regions of the hRad54 and hRad54B proteins. Here we introduced the equivalent mutations into the Saccharomyces cerevisiae RAD54 gene in an effort to examine the functional consequences of these gene changes. One mutant, rad54 G484R, showed sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents and reduced homologous recombination rates, indicating a loss of function. Even though the purified rad54 G484R mutant protein retained the ability to bind DNA and interact with Rad51, it was nearly devoid of ATPase activity and was similarly defective in DNA supercoiling and D-loop formation. Two other mutants, rad54 N616S and rad54 D442Y, were not sensitive to genotoxic agents and behaved like the wild type allele in homologous recombination assays. Consistent with the mild phenotype associated with the rad54 N616S allele, its encoded protein was similar to wild type Rad54 protein in biochemical attributes. Because dysfunctional homologous recombination gives rise to genome instability, our results are consistent with the premise that tumor-associated mutations in hRad54 and Rad54B could contribute to the tumor phenotype or enhance the genome instability seen in tumor cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24081-24088
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 4 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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