Background: BRCA2 is known to be a tumor suppressor involved in homologous recombination repair and presumed to prevent genome instability in normal tissues prior to the development of tumors. Typical assessment of BRCA2 deficiency on the genome involves cell-based models using cancer cells with mixed genetic contexts, but the role in normal tissue in vivo has not been clearly demonstrated. Methods: Using conditional deletion of Brca2
exon 11, the region containing all eight BRC repeats, in the retinal pigment epithelium and the pink-eyed unstable mouse model, we evaluate the frequency of DNA deletion events. Results: In the current study, we show that conditional loss of Brca2
exon 11 results in a decreased frequency of spontaneous homologous recombination compared to wild-type mice. Of note, we observe no apparent concomitant increase in events that indicate single-strand annealing by the pink-eyed unstable mouse model. Conclusions: Therefore, our results demonstrate that BRCA2, as expected, is required for high-fidelity homologous recombination DNA repair in normal tissues, here in a tissue undergoing normal proliferation through normal development.
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