The significance of DNA repair to human health has been well documented by studies on xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) patients, who suffer a dramatically increased risk of cancer in sun-exposed areas of their skin [1,2]. This autosomal recessive disorder has been directly associated with a defect in nucleotide excision-repair (NER) [1,2]. Like human XP individuals, mice carrying homozygous mutations in XP genes manifest a predisposition to skin carcinogenesis following exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation [3-5]. Recent studies have suggested that, in addition to roles in apoptosis  and cell- cycle checkpoint control  in response to DNA damage, p53 protein may modulate NER . Mutations in the p53 gene have been observed in 50% of all human tumors  and have been implicated in both the early  and late  stages of skin cancer. To examine the consequences of a combined deficiency of the XPC and the p53 proteins in mice, we generated double- mutant animals. We document a spectrum of neural tube defects in XPC p53 mutant embryos. Additionally, we show that, following exposure to UV-B radiation, XPC p53 mutant mice have more severe solar keratosis and suffer accelerated skin cancer compared with XPC mutant mice that are wild-type with respect to p53.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)