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Postnatal Growth Failure, Short Life Span, and Early Onset of Cellular Senescence and Subsequent Immortalization in Mice Lacking the Xeroderma Pigmentosum Group G Gene

American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
  • Dna Dynamics And Chromosome Structure
  • Biology
  • Medicine


The xeroderma pigmentosum group G (XP-G) gene (XPG) encodes a structure-specific DNA endonuclease that functions in nucleotide excision repair (NER). XP-G patients show various symptoms, ranging from mild cutaneous abnormalities to severe dermatological impairments. In some cases, patients exhibit growth failure and life-shortening and neurological dysfunctions, which are characteristics of Cockayne syndrome (CS). The known XPG protein function as the 3′ nuclease in NER, however, cannot explain the development of CS in certain XP-G patients. To gain an insight into the functions of the XPG protein, we have generated and examined mice lacking xpg (the mouse counterpart of the human XPG gene) alleles. The xpg-deficient mice exhibited postnatal growth failure and underwent premature death. Since XPA-deficient mice, which are totally defective in NER, do not show such symptoms, our data indicate that XPG performs an additional function(s) besides its role in NER. Our in vitro studies showed that primary embryonic fibroblasts isolated from the xpg-deficient mice underwent premature senescence and exhibited the early onset of immortalization and accumulation of p53.

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