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A novel splice variant of the DNA-PKcs gene is associated with clinical and cellular radiosensivity in a patient with xeroderma pigmentosum

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posted on 2023-06-07, 15:30 authored by Fatemah Abbaszadeh, Peter H. Clingen, Colin F. Arlett, P.N Plowman, E.C Bourton, M. Themis, E.M. Makarov, R.F Newbold, M H Green, C.N. Parris
Background: Radiotherapy-induced DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are critical cytotoxic lesions. Inherited defects in DNA DSB repair pathways lead to hypersensitivity to ionising radiation, immunodeficiency and increased cancer incidence. A patient with xeroderma pigmentosum complementation group C, with a scalp angiosarcoma, exhibited dramatic clinical radiosensitivity following radiotherapy, resulting in death. A fibroblast cell line from non-affected skin (XP14BRneo17) was hypersensitive to ionising radiation and defective in DNA DSB repair. Aim: To determine the genetic defect causing cellular radiation hypersensitivity in XP14BRneo17 cells. Methods: Functional genetic complementation whereby copies of human chromosomes containing genes involved in DNA DSB repair (chromosomes 2, 5, 8 10, 13 and 22) were individually transferred to XP14BRneo17 cells in an attempt to correct the radiation hypersensitivity. Clonogenic survival assays and g-H2AX immunofluorescence were conducted to measure radiation sensitivity and repair of DNA DSBs. DNA sequencing of defective DNA repair genes was performed. Results: Transfer of chromosome 8 (location of DNAPKcs gene) and transfection of a mammalian expression construct containing the DNA-PKcs cDNA restored normal ionising radiation sensitivity and repair of DNA DSBs in XP14BRneo17 cells. DNA sequencing of the DNA-PKcs coding region revealed a 249-bp deletion (between base pairs 3656 and 3904) encompassing exon 31 of the gene. Conclusion: We provide evidence of a novel splice variant of the DNA-PKcs gene associated with radiosensitivity in a patient with xeroderma pigmentosum and report the first double mutant in distinct DNA repair pathways being consistent with viability.


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  • Published


Journal of Medical Genetics




British Medical Association





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  • Sussex Centre for Genome Damage Stability Publications



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