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A mouse model for the basal transcription/DNA repair syndrome trichothiodystrophy.

Authors:
de Boer J, de Wit J, van Steeg H, Berg RJ, Morreau H, Visser P, Lehmann AR, Duran M, Hoeijmakers JH, Weeda G
Affiliation:
Journal:
Molecular cell

Abstract

The sun-sensitive form of the severe neurodevelopmental, brittle hair disorder trichothiodystrophy (TTD) is caused by point mutations in the essential XPB and XPD helicase subunits of the dual functional DNA repair/basal transcription factor TFIIH. The phenotype is hypothesized to be in part derived from a nucleotide excision repair defect and in part from a subtle basal transcription deficiency accounting for the nonrepair TTD features. Using a novel gene-targeting strategy, we have mimicked the causative XPD point mutation of a TTD patient in the mouse. TTD mice reflect to a remarkable extent the human disorder, including brittle hair, developmental abnormalities, reduced life span, UV sensitivity, and skin abnormalities. The cutaneous symptoms are associated with reduced transcription of a skin-specific gene strongly supporting the concept of TTD as a human disease due to inborn defects in basal transcription and DNA repair.

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