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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

BARD1 translocation to mitochondria correlates with Bax oligomerization, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, and apoptosis.

The breast cancer regulatory protein-1 (BRCA1)-associated RING domain 1 (BARD1) gene is mutated in a subset of breast/ovarian cancers. BARD1 functions as a heterodimer with BRCA1 in nuclear DNA repair. BARD1 also has a BRCA1-independent apoptotic activity. Here we investigated the link between cytoplasmic localization and apoptotic function of BARD1. We used immunofluorescence microscopy and deconvolution analysis to resolve BARD1 cytoplasmic staining patterns and detected endogenous BARD1 at mitochondria. BARD1 was also detected in mitochondrial cell fractions by immunoblotting. The targeting of BARD1 to mitochondria was modestly stimulated by DNA damage and did not require BRCA1 as indicated by RNA interference and peptide-competition experiments. Transiently expressed yellow fluorescence protein-BARD1 localized to mitochondria, and the targeting sequences were mapped to both the N and C terminus of BARD1. Ectopic yellow fluorescence protein-BARD1 induced apoptosis and loss of mitochondrial membrane potential in MCF-7 breast tumor cells. BARD1 apoptotic function was associated with stimulation of Bax oligomerization at mitochondria. This distinguishes it from BRCA1, which is pro-apoptotic but did not induce Bax oligomerization. The cancer-associated BARD1 splice-variant DeltaRIN (lacks the BRCA1 binding domain and ankyrin repeats) was recruited to mitochondria but did not stimulate apoptosis or alter membrane permeability. We propose that BARD1 has two main sites of action in its cellular response to DNA damage, the nucleus, where it promotes cell survival through DNA repair, and the mitochondria, where BARD1 regulates apoptosis.[1]


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