Fanconi anemia is a cancer predisposition syndrome caused by defects in the repair of DNA interstrand cross-links (ICLs). Central to this pathway is the Fanconi anemia I-Fanconi anemia D2 (FANCI-FANCD2) (ID) complex, which is activated by DNA damage-induced phosphorylation and monoubiquitination. The 3.4 angstrom crystal structure of the ~300 kilodalton ID complex reveals that monoubiquitination and regulatory phosphorylation sites map to the I-D interface, suggesting that they occur on monomeric proteins or an opened-up complex and that they may serve to stabilize I-D heterodimerization. The 7.8 angstrom electron-density map of FANCI-DNA crystals and in vitro data show that each protein has binding sites for both single- and double-stranded DNA, suggesting that the ID complex recognizes DNA structures that result from the encounter of replication forks with an ICL.
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