Fanconi anemia (FA) is a rare autosomal recessive and X-linked chromosomal instability disorder. At least eight FA proteins (FANCA, B, C, E, F, G, L, and M) form a nuclear core complex required for monoubiquitination of a downstream protein, FANCD2. The human FANCF protein reportedly functions as a molecular adaptor within the FA nuclear complex, bridging between the subcomplexes A:G and C:E. Our x-ray crystallographic studies of the C-terminal domain of FANCF reveal a helical repeat structure similar to the Cand1 regulator of the Cul1-Rbx1-Skp1-Fbox(Skp2) ubiquitin ligase complex. Two C-terminal loops of FANCF are essential for monoubiquitination of FANCD2 and normal cellular resistance to the DNA cross-linking agent mitomycin C. FANCF mutants bearing amino acid substitutions in this C-terminal surface fail to interact with other components of the FA complex, indicating that this surface is critical for the proper assembly of the FA core complex.
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