The Fanconi Anemia (FA) pathway consists of proteins involved in repairing DNA damage, including interstrand cross-links (ICLs). The pathway contains an upstream multiprotein core complex that mediates the monoubiquitylation of the FANCD2 and FANCI heterodimer, and a downstream pathway that converges with a larger network of proteins with roles in homologous recombination and other DNA repair pathways. Selective killing of cancer cells with an intact FA pathway but deficient in certain other DNA repair pathways is an emerging approach to tailored cancer therapy. Inhibiting the FA pathway becomes selectively lethal when certain repair genes are defective, such as the checkpoint kinase ATM. Inhibiting the FA pathway in ATM deficient cells can be achieved with small molecule inhibitors, suggesting that new cancer therapeutics could be developed by identifying FA pathway inhibitors to treat cancers that contain defects that are synthetic lethal with FA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology