A D-loop structure is formed when complementary duplex DNA (sister chromatid arm) is progressively invaded by the RAD51 nucleoprotein filament, with base pairing of the invading ssDNA and the complementary sister chromatid DNA strand (Sung et al. 2003). PALB2 and RAD51AP1 synergistically stimulate RAD51 recombinase activity, thus enhancing RAD51-mediated strand exchange (branch migration) and promoting the formation of D-loop structures (synaptic complex assembly). PALB2 simultaneously interacts with RAD51, BRCA2 and RAD51AP1 (Modesti et al. 2007, Wiese et al. 2007, Buisson et al. 2010, Dray et al. 2010). The direct BRCA1 interaction with PALB2 helps to fine-tune the localization of BRCA2 and RAD51 at DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) (Zhang et al. 2009, Sy et al. 2009).