Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Chromosomal double-strand breaks (DSBs) have the potential to permanently arrest cell cycle progression and endanger cell survival. They must therefore be efficiently repaired to preserve genome integrity and functionality. Homologous recombination (HR) provides an important error-free mechanism for DSB repair in mammalian cells. In addition to RAD51, the central recombinase activity in mammalian cells, a family of proteins known as the RAD51 paralogs and consisting of five proteins (RAD51B, RAD51C, RAD51D, XRCC2 and XRCC3), play an essential role in the DNA repair reactions through HR. The RAD51 paralogs act to transduce the DNA damage signal to effector kinases and to promote break repair. However, their precise cellular functions are not fully elucidated. Here we discuss recent advances in our understanding of how these factors mediate checkpoint responses and act in the HR repair process. In addition, we highlight potential functional similarities with the BRCA2 tumour suppressor, through the recently reported links between RAD51 paralog deficiencies and tumorigenesis triggered by genome instability.

Original publication




Journal article


Semin Cell Dev Biol

Publication Date





898 - 905


Animals, Cell Transformation, Neoplastic, DNA Damage, DNA Repair, Humans, Rad51 Recombinase, Recombination, Genetic, Signal Transduction