Reference: Larsen NB and Hickson ID (2013) RecQ Helicases: Conserved Guardians of Genomic Integrity. Adv Exp Med Biol 767:161-84

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Abstract


The RecQ family of DNA helicases is highly conserved throughout -evolution, and is important for the maintenance of genome stability. In humans, five RecQ family members have been identified: BLM, WRN, RECQ4, RECQ1 and RECQ5. Defects in three of these give rise to Bloom's syndrome (BLM), Werner's syndrome (WRN) and Rothmund-Thomson/RAPADILINO/Baller-Gerold (RECQ4) syndromes. These syndromes are characterised by cancer predisposition and/or premature ageing. In this review, we focus on the roles of BLM and its S. cerevisiae homologue, Sgs1, in genome maintenance. BLM/Sgs1 has been shown to play a critical role in homologous recombination at multiple steps, including end-resection, displacement loop formation, branch migration and double Holliday junction dissolution. In addition, recent evidence has revealed a role for BLM/Sgs1 in the stabilisation and repair of replication forks damaged during a perturbed S-phase. Finally BLM also plays a role in the suppression and/or resolution of ultra-fine anaphase DNA bridges that form between sister-chromatids during mitosis.

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Journal Article
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Larsen NB, Hickson ID
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