The iron-sulfur-containing DNA helicases XPD, FANCJ, DDX11, and RTEL represent a small subclass of superfamily 2 helicases. XPD and FANCJ have been connected to the genetic instability syndromes xeroderma pigmentosum and Fanconi anemia. Here, we report a human individual with biallelic mutations in DDX11. Defective DDX11 is associated with a unique cellular phenotype in which features of Fanconi anemia (drug-induced chromosomal breakage) and Roberts syndrome (sister chromatid cohesion defects) coexist. The DDX11-deficient patient represents another cohesinopathy, besides Cornelia de Lange syndrome and Roberts syndrome, and shows that DDX11 functions at the interface between DNA repair and sister chromatid cohesion.
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