The hereditary disease Cockayne syndrome (CS) is a complex clinical syndrome characterized by arrested post-natal growth as well as neurological and other defects. The CSA and CSB genes are implicated in this disease. The clinical features of CS can also accompany the excision repair-defective hereditary disorder xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) from genetic complementation groups B, D or G. The XPB and XPD proteins are subunits of RNA polymerase II (RNAP II) transcription factor IIH (TFIIH). We show here that extracts of CS-A and CS-B cells, as well as those from XP-B/CS cells, support reduced levels of RNAP II transcription in vitro and that this feature is dependent on the state or quality of the template.
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