Gene Summary

Gene:FANCA; Fanconi anemia, complementation group A
Summary:The Fanconi anemia complementation group (FANC) currently includes FANCA, FANCB, FANCC, FANCD1 (also called BRCA2), FANCD2, FANCE, FANCF, FANCG, FANCI, FANCJ (also called BRIP1), FANCL, FANCM and FANCN (also called PALB2). The previously defined group FANCH is the same as FANCA. Fanconi anemia is a genetically heterogeneous recessive disorder characterized by cytogenetic instability, hypersensitivity to DNA crosslinking agents, increased chromosomal breakage, and defective DNA repair. The members of the Fanconi anemia complementation group do not share sequence similarity; they are related by their assembly into a common nuclear protein complex. This gene encodes the protein for complementation group A. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants encoding different isoforms. Mutations in this gene are the most common cause of Fanconi anemia. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:Fanconi anemia group A protein
Source:NCBIAccessed: 17 March, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

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Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
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Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 17 March, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (1)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

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Fanconi Anemia - Complementation Group A

Latest Publications

Ruiz S, Fernandez-Capetillo O
The maternal side of Fanconi Anemia.
Mol Cell. 2014; 55(6):803-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
Fanconi anemia is characterized by a higher sensitivity to DNA crosslinking agents, including aldehydes. In this issue of Molecular Cell, Oberbeck et al. (2014) reveal that detoxification of aldehydes by pregnant mothers contributes to limit the severity of the disease.

Delan-Forino C, Tollervey D
Lighting Up pre-mRNA recognition.
Mol Cell. 2014; 55(5):649-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Systematic analyses, by UV crosslinking, of the precise binding sites for 23 different proteins across the yeast pre-mRNA population have given insights into the in vivo assembly of, and interactions between, pre-mRNA processing, packaging, and transport complexes.

Oberbeck N, Langevin F, King G, et al.
Maternal aldehyde elimination during pregnancy preserves the fetal genome.
Mol Cell. 2014; 55(6):807-17 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Maternal metabolism provides essential nutrients to enable embryonic development. However, both mother and embryo produce reactive metabolites that can damage DNA. Here we discover how the embryo is protected from these genotoxins. Pregnant mice lacking Aldh2, a key enzyme that detoxifies reactive aldehydes, cannot support the development of embryos lacking the Fanconi anemia DNA repair pathway gene Fanca. Remarkably, transferring Aldh2(-/-)Fanca(-/-) embryos into wild-type mothers suppresses developmental defects and rescues embryonic lethality. These rescued neonates have severely depleted hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, indicating that despite intact maternal aldehyde catabolism, fetal Aldh2 is essential for hematopoiesis. Hence, maternal and fetal aldehyde detoxification protects the developing embryo from DNA damage. Failure of this genome preservation mechanism might explain why birth defects and bone marrow failure occur in Fanconi anemia, and may have implications for fetal well-being in the many women in Southeast Asia that are genetically deficient in ALDH2.

Chen X, Wilson JB, McChesney P, et al.
The Fanconi anemia proteins FANCD2 and FANCJ interact and regulate each other's chromatin localization.
J Biol Chem. 2014; 289(37):25774-82 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 12/09/2015 Related Publications
Fanconi anemia is a genetic disease resulting in bone marrow failure, birth defects, and cancer that is thought to encompass a defect in maintenance of genomic stability. Mutations in 16 genes (FANCA, B, C, D1, D2, E, F, G, I, J, L, M, N, O, P, and Q) have been identified in patients, with the Fanconi anemia subtype J (FA-J) resulting from homozygous mutations in the FANCJ gene. Here, we describe the direct interaction of FANCD2 with FANCJ. We demonstrate the interaction of FANCD2 and FANCJ in vivo and in vitro by immunoprecipitation in crude cell lysates and from fractions after gel filtration and with baculovirally expressed proteins. Mutation of the monoubiquitination site of FANCD2 (K561R) preserves interaction with FANCJ constitutively in a manner that impedes proper chromatin localization of FANCJ. FANCJ is necessary for FANCD2 chromatin loading and focus formation in response to mitomycin C treatment. Our results suggest not only that FANCD2 regulates FANCJ chromatin localization but also that FANCJ is necessary for efficient loading of FANCD2 onto chromatin following DNA damage caused by mitomycin C treatment.

Peng M, Xie J, Ucher A, et al.
Crosstalk between BRCA-Fanconi anemia and mismatch repair pathways prevents MSH2-dependent aberrant DNA damage responses.
EMBO J. 2014; 33(15):1698-712 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/08/2015 Related Publications
Several proteins in the BRCA-Fanconi anemia (FA) pathway, such as FANCJ, BRCA1, and FANCD2, interact with mismatch repair (MMR) pathway factors, but the significance of this link remains unknown. Unlike the BRCA-FA pathway, the MMR pathway is not essential for cells to survive toxic DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs), although MMR proteins bind ICLs and other DNA structures that form at stalled replication forks. We hypothesized that MMR proteins corrupt ICL repair in cells that lack crosstalk between BRCA-FA and MMR pathways. Here, we show that ICL sensitivity of cells lacking the interaction between FANCJ and the MMR protein MLH1 is suppressed by depletion of the upstream mismatch recognition factor MSH2. MSH2 depletion suppresses an aberrant DNA damage response, restores cell cycle progression, and promotes ICL resistance through a Rad18-dependent mechanism. MSH2 depletion also suppresses ICL sensitivity in cells deficient for BRCA1 or FANCD2, but not FANCA. Rescue by Msh2 loss was confirmed in Fancd2-null primary mouse cells. Thus, we propose that regulation of MSH2-dependent DNA damage response underlies the importance of interactions between BRCA-FA and MMR pathways.

Chang L, Yuan W, Zeng H, et al.
Whole exome sequencing reveals concomitant mutations of multiple FA genes in individual Fanconi anemia patients.
BMC Med Genomics. 2014; 7:24 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/08/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Fanconi anemia (FA) is a rare inherited genetic syndrome with highly variable clinical manifestations. Fifteen genetic subtypes of FA have been identified. Traditional complementation tests for grouping studies have been used generally in FA patients and in stepwise methods to identify the FA type, which can result in incomplete genetic information from FA patients.
METHODS: We diagnosed five pediatric patients with FA based on clinical manifestations, and we performed exome sequencing of peripheral blood specimens from these patients and their family members. The related sequencing data were then analyzed by bioinformatics, and the FANC gene mutations identified by exome sequencing were confirmed by PCR re-sequencing.
RESULTS: Homozygous and compound heterozygous mutations of FANC genes were identified in all of the patients. The FA subtypes of the patients included FANCA, FANCM and FANCD2. Interestingly, four FA patients harbored multiple mutations in at least two FA genes, and some of these mutations have not been previously reported. These patients' clinical manifestations were vastly different from each other, as were their treatment responses to androstanazol and prednisone. This finding suggests that heterozygous mutation(s) in FA genes could also have diverse biological and/or pathophysiological effects on FA patients or FA gene carriers. Interestingly, we were not able to identify de novo mutations in the genes implicated in DNA repair pathways when the sequencing data of patients were compared with those of their parents.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that Chinese FA patients and carriers might have higher and more complex mutation rates in FANC genes than have been conventionally recognized. Testing of the fifteen FANC genes in FA patients and their family members should be a regular clinical practice to determine the optimal care for the individual patient, to counsel the family and to obtain a better understanding of FA pathophysiology.

Rio P, Baños R, Lombardo A, et al.
Targeted gene therapy and cell reprogramming in Fanconi anemia.
EMBO Mol Med. 2014; 6(6):835-48 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/08/2015 Related Publications
Gene targeting is progressively becoming a realistic therapeutic alternative in clinics. It is unknown, however, whether this technology will be suitable for the treatment of DNA repair deficiency syndromes such as Fanconi anemia (FA), with defects in homology-directed DNA repair. In this study, we used zinc finger nucleases and integrase-defective lentiviral vectors to demonstrate for the first time that FANCA can be efficiently and specifically targeted into the AAVS1 safe harbor locus in fibroblasts from FA-A patients. Strikingly, up to 40% of FA fibroblasts showed gene targeting 42 days after gene editing. Given the low number of hematopoietic precursors in the bone marrow of FA patients, gene-edited FA fibroblasts were then reprogrammed and re-differentiated toward the hematopoietic lineage. Analyses of gene-edited FA-iPSCs confirmed the specific integration of FANCA in the AAVS1 locus in all tested clones. Moreover, the hematopoietic differentiation of these iPSCs efficiently generated disease-free hematopoietic progenitors. Taken together, our results demonstrate for the first time the feasibility of correcting the phenotype of a DNA repair deficiency syndrome using gene-targeting and cell reprogramming strategies.

Nguyen TV, Riou L, Aoufouchi S, Rosselli F
Fanca deficiency reduces A/T transitions in somatic hypermutation and alters class switch recombination junctions in mouse B cells.
J Exp Med. 2014; 211(6):1011-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/08/2015 Related Publications
Fanconi anemia is a rare genetic disorder that can lead to bone marrow failure, congenital abnormalities, and increased risk for leukemia and cancer. Cells with loss-of-function mutations in the FANC pathway are characterized by chromosome fragility, altered mutability, and abnormal regulation of the nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) pathway. Somatic hypermutation (SHM) and immunoglobulin (Ig) class switch recombination (CSR) enable B cells to produce high-affinity antibodies of various isotypes. Both processes are initiated after the generation of dG:dU mismatches by activation-induced cytidine deaminase. Whereas SHM involves an error-prone repair process that introduces novel point mutations into the Ig gene, the mismatches generated during CSR are processed to create double-stranded breaks (DSBs) in DNA, which are then repaired by the NHEJ pathway. As several lines of evidence suggest a possible role for the FANC pathway in SHM and CSR, we analyzed both processes in B cells derived from Fanca(-/-) mice. Here we show that Fanca is required for the induction of transition mutations at A/T residues during SHM and that despite globally normal CSR function in splenic B cells, Fanca is required during CSR to stabilize duplexes between pairs of short microhomology regions, thereby impeding short-range recombination downstream of DSB formation.

Walden H, Deans AJ
The Fanconi anemia DNA repair pathway: structural and functional insights into a complex disorder.
Annu Rev Biophys. 2014; 43:257-78 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mutations in any of at least sixteen FANC genes (FANCA-Q) cause Fanconi anemia, a disorder characterized by sensitivity to DNA interstrand crosslinking agents. The clinical features of cytopenia, developmental defects, and tumor predisposition are similar in each group, suggesting that the gene products participate in a common pathway. The Fanconi anemia DNA repair pathway consists of an anchor complex that recognizes damage caused by interstrand crosslinks, a multisubunit ubiquitin ligase that monoubiquitinates two substrates, and several downstream repair proteins including nucleases and homologous recombination enzymes. We review progress in the use of structural and biochemical approaches to understanding how each FANC protein functions in this pathway.

Mattioli C, Pianigiani G, De Rocco D, et al.
Unusual splice site mutations disrupt FANCA exon 8 definition.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014; 1842(7):1052-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The pathological role of mutations that affect not conserved splicing regulatory sequences can be difficult to determine. In a patient with Fanconi anemia, we identified two unpredictable splicing mutations that act on either sides of FANCA exon 8. In patients-derived cells and in minigene splicing assay, we showed that both an apparently benign intronic c.710-5T>C transition and the nonsense c.790C>T substitution induce almost complete exon 8 skipping. Site-directed mutagenesis experiments indicated that the c.710-5T>C transition affects a polypyrimidine tract where most of the thymidines cannot be compensated by cytidines. The c.790C>T mutation located in position -3 relative to the donor site induce exon 8 skipping in an NMD-independent manner and complementation experiments with modified U1 snRNAs showed that U1 snRNP is only partially involved in the splicing defect. Our results highlight the importance of performing splicing functional assay for correct identification of disease-causing mechanism of genomic variants and provide mechanistic insights on how these two FANCA mutations affect exon 8 definition.

Du W, Erden O, Wilson A, et al.
Deletion of Fanca or Fancd2 dysregulates Treg in mice.
Blood. 2014; 123(12):1938-47 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/03/2015 Related Publications
Fanconi anemia (FA) is a genetic disorder associated with bone marrow (BM) failure and leukemia. Recent studies demonstrate variable immune defects in FA. However, the cause for FA immunodeficiency is unknown. Here we report that deletion of Fanca or Fancd2 dysregulates the suppressive activity of regulatory T cells (Tregs), shown functionally as exacerbation of graft-vs-host disease (GVHD) in mice. Recipient mice of Fanca(-/-) or Fancd2(-/-) BM chimeras exhibited severe acute GVHD after allogeneic BM transplantation (BMT). T cells from Fanca(-/-) or Fancd2(-/-) mice induced higher GVHD lethality than those from wild-type (WT) littermates. FA Tregs possessed lower proliferative suppression potential compared with WT Tregs, as demonstrated by in vitro proliferation assay and BMT. Analysis of CD25(+)Foxp3(+) Tregs indicated that loss of Fanca or Fancd2 dysregulated Foxp3 target gene expression. Additionally, CD25(+)Foxp3(+) Tregs of Fanca(-/-) or Fancd2(-/-) mice were less efficient in suppressing the production of GVHD-associated inflammatory cytokines. Consistently, aberrant NF-κB activity was observed in infiltrated T cells from FA GVHD mice. Conditional deletion of p65 in FA Tregs decreased GVHD mortality. Our study uncovers an essential role for FA proteins in maintaining Treg homeostasis, possibly explaining, at least in part, the immune deficiency reported in some FA patients.

Li N, Zhang F, Li S, Zhou S
Epigenetic silencing of MicroRNA-503 regulates FANCA expression in non-small cell lung cancer cell.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014; 444(4):611-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
It is reported that MicroRNA-503 (miR-503) regulates cell apoptosis, and thus modulates the resistance of non-small cell lung cancer cells (NSCLC) to cisplatin. However, the exact role of miR-503 in NSCLC remains unknown. In the present study, the level of miR-503 expression in NSCLC was evaluated using realtime PCR, and the DNA methylation status within miR-503 promoter was analyzed by Combined Bisulfite Restriction Analysis (COBRA) or bisulfite-treated DNA sequencing assays (BSP). We found that the expression of miR-503 was significantly decreased in NSCLC tissues compared to normal tissues. A statistically significant inverse association was found between miR-503 methylation status and expression of the miR-503 in tumor tissues (P<0.001), and expression of miR-503 was restored by the demethylating agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine, suggesting that methylation was associated with the transcriptional silencing. Then, we show that miR-503 targets a homologous DNA region in the 3'-UTR region of the Fanconi anemia complementation group A protein (FANCA) gene and represses its expression at the transcriptional level. Taken together, our results suggest that miR-503 regulates the resistance of non-small cell lung cancer cells to cisplatin at least in part by targeting FANCA.

Madjunkova S, Kocheva SA, Plaseska-Karanfilska D
Fanconi anemia founder mutation in Macedonian patients.
Acta Haematol. 2014; 132(1):15-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Fanconi anemia (FA) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder clinically characterized by developmental abnormalities, progressive bone marrow failure (BMF) and profound cancer predisposition. Approximately 65% of all affected individuals have mutation in the FANCA (Fanconi anemia complementation group A) gene. The mutation spectrum of the FANCA gene is highly heterogeneous. FA-A is usually associated with private FANCA mutations in individual families.
METHODS: We describe 3 unrelated patients with FA with a similar clinical presentation: BMF, renal anomalies and café-au-lait pigmentation without major skeletal abnormality. The molecular analysis of the FANCA gene using the FA MLPA kit P031-A2/P032 FANCA, showed homozygous deletion of exon 3 in all 3 patients. Molecular analysis of the flanking regions of exon 3 precisely defined unique deletion of 2,040 bp and duplication of C (1788_3828dupC).
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS: These are the first 3 patients homozygous for deletion of FANCA exon 3 described to date. Although not related, the patients originated from the same Gypsy-like ethnic population. We conclude that c.190-256_283 + 1680del2040 dupC mutation in the FANCA gene is a founder mutation in Macedonian FA patients of Gypsy-like ethnic origin. Our finding has very strong implications for these patients in formulating diagnostic and carrier-screening strategy for BMF and FA and to enable comprehensive genetic counseling.

Qian L, Yuan F, Rodriguez-Tello P, et al.
Human Fanconi anemia complementation group a protein stimulates the 5' flap endonuclease activity of FEN1.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(12):e82666 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/03/2015 Related Publications
In eukaryotic cells, Flap endonuclease 1 (FEN1) is a major structure-specific endonuclease that processes 5' flapped structures during maturation of lagging strand DNA synthesis, long patch base excision repair, and rescue of stalled replication forks. Here we report that fanconi anemia complementation group A protein (FANCA), a protein that recognizes 5' flap structures and is involved in DNA repair and maintenance of replication forks, constantly stimulates FEN1-mediated incision of both DNA and RNA flaps. Kinetic analyses indicate that FANCA stimulates FEN1 by increasing the turnover rate of FEN1 and altering its substrate affinity. More importantly, six pathogenic FANCA mutants are significantly less efficient than the wild-type at stimulating FEN1 endonuclease activity, implicating that regulation of FEN1 by FANCA contributes to the maintenance of genomic stability.

Liu R, Hu T, Li JH, et al.
Diagnosis of Fanconi anemia in children with atypical clinical features: a primary study.
Chin Med J (Engl). 2013; 126(23):4483-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Fanconi anemia is a severe congenital disorder associated with mutations in a cluster of genes responsible for DNA repair. Arriving at an accurate and timely diagnosis can be difficult in cases of Fanconi anemia with atypical clinical features. It is very important to increase the rate of accurate diagnosis for such cases in a clinical setting. The purpose of this study is to explore the clinical diagnosis of Fanconi anemia in children with atypical clinical features.
METHODS: Six cases of Fanconi anemia with atypical clinical features were enrolled in the study, and their clinical features were recorded, their FANCA gene transcription was assessed by RT-PCR, and FANCA mutations and the ubiquitination of FANCD2 protein were analyzed using DNA sequencing and western blotting respectively.
RESULTS: All six cases showed atypical clinical features including no apparent deformities, lack of response to immune therapy, and progressively increasing bone marrow failure. They also have significantly increased fetal hemoglobin, negative mitomycin-induced fracture test results, and carry a FANCA gene missense mutation. Single protein ubiquitination of FANCD2 was not observed in those patients.
CONCLUSION: The combination of clinical features, FANCA pathogenic gene mutation genotype and the absence of FANCD2 protein ubiquitination are helpful in the accurate and timely diagnosis of Fanconi anemia in children.

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Cite this page: Cotterill SJ. FANCA, Cancer Genetics Web: Accessed:

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