Brca1 antibodies matter

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



International Journal of Biological Sciences








Antibody validation; BRCA1; Chromatin immunoprecipitation; Immunofluorescence; Immunoprecipitation; Western blot


Breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 (BRCA1) encodes a tumor suppressor that is frequently mutated in familial breast and ovarian cancer patients. BRCA1 functions in multiple important cellular processes including DNA damage repair, cell cycle checkpoint activation, protein ubiquitination, chromatin remodeling, transcriptional regulation, as well as R-loop formation and apoptosis. A large number of BRCA1 antibodies have been generated and become commercially available over the past three decades, however, many commercial antibodies are poorly characterized and, when widely used, led to unreliable data. In search of reliable and specific BRCA1 antibodies (Abs), particularly antibodies recognizing mouse BRCA1, we performed a rigorous validation of a number of commercially available anti-BRCA1 antibodies, using proper controls in a panel of validation applications, including Western blot (WB), immunoprecipitation (IP), immunoprecipitation-mass spectrometry (IP-MS), chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and immunofluorescence (IF). Furthermore, we assessed the specificity of these antibodies to detect mouse BRCA1 protein through the use of testis tissue and mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) from Brca1+/+ and Brca1Δ11/Δ11 mice. We find that Ab1, D-9, 07-434 (for recognizing human BRCA1) and 287.17, 440621, BR-64 (for recognizing mouse BRCA1) are specific with high quality performance in the indicated assays. We share these results here with the goal of helping the community combat the common challenges associated with anti-BRCA1 antibody specificity and reproducibility and, hopefully, better understanding BRCA1 functions at cellular and tissue levels.