Analyzing FA Pathway-Interacting Genes
The Sobeck laboratory is interested in deciphering functions of the Fanconi Anemia (FA) proteins that compose one of the most complex yet least well-understood genomic caretaker pathways. They use the powerful Xenopus cell-free system that faithfully reproduces nuclear DNA replication and repair events under natural cell-cycle regulation. Their goal is to elucidate critical functions of the FA pathway proteins during chromosomal replication. Their studies led to a hitherto unexpected finding: the central FA pathway protein heterodimer of FANCD2 and FANCI does not exist constitutively, but undergoes dynamic dissociation in the DNA damage response during replication.
Based on these findings, the researchers aim to elucidate separate roles of FANCD2 and FANCI, the two FA proteins suspected to be positioned at the very core of the genomic caretaker pathway network. They have begun an unbiased search for new FANCD2- and FANCI-interacting genes in Xenopus, which requires the use of sequence-analysis software. They are using MacVector, available through MSI. Identifying new gene sequences in the Xenopus laevis genome is crucial to then generate their own new Xenopus laevis antibodies, express new recombinant FA-related proteins and develop novel assays to study FA pathway functions.