Meet BRCA2, the protein often known as a ‘breast cancer causer’. When women carry a faulty version of this protein, their lifetime risk of developing breast cancer can be up to 80 percent. However, BRCA2 is by no means a bad guy. Having a malfunctioning version of this protein is so dangerous simply because it normally plays a crucial role in the DNA repair that prevents cancer. Previously, it wasn’t known how BRCA2 did this. But now, researchers have successfully constructed a 3D model of the protein, which will help them understand how it works. Once the details are filled in, they can start designing ways to correct broken BRCA2 and help repair DNA. Though the real life protein isn’t pink, it’s donning this colour here in support of today’s ‘wear it pink’ day, on which people raise money for breast cancer research.
Written by Emma Bornebroek
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.