An overview of three new disorders associated with genetic instability: LIG4 syndrome, RS-SCID and ATR-Seckel syndrome

DNA Repair (Amst). 2004 Aug-Sep;3(8-9):1227-35. doi: 10.1016/j.dnarep.2004.03.025.


Around 15-20 hereditary disorders associated with impaired DNA damage response mechanisms have been previously described. The range of clinical features associated with these disorders attests to the significant role that these pathways play during development. Recently, three new such disorders have been reported extending the importance of the damage response pathways to human health. LIG4 syndrome is conferred by hypomorphic mutations in DNA ligase IV, an essential component of DNA non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ), and is associated with pancytopaenia, developmental and growth delay and dysmorphic facial features. Radiosensitive severe combined immunodeficiency (RS-SCID) is caused by mutations in Artemis, a protein that plays a subsidiary role in non-homologous end-joining although it is not an essential component. RS-SCID is characterised by severe combined immunodeficiency but patients have no overt developmental abnormalities. ATR-Seckel syndrome is caused by mutations in ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3 related protein (ATR), a component of a DNA damage signalling pathway. ATR-Seckel syndrome patients have dramatic microcephaly and marked growth and developmental delay. The clinical features of these patients are considered in the light of the function of the defective protein.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics*
  • DNA Damage
  • DNA Ligase ATP
  • DNA Ligases / genetics*
  • DNA Repair
  • DNA Sequence, Unstable*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Endonucleases
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / diagnosis*
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / genetics*
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Genetic
  • Mutation
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics*
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Severe Combined Immunodeficiency / diagnosis*
  • Severe Combined Immunodeficiency / genetics*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Syndrome


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • LIG4 protein, human
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • ATR protein, human
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • DCLRE1C protein, human
  • Endonucleases
  • DNA Ligases
  • DNA Ligase ATP