Correction by the ERCC2 gene of UV sensitivity and repair deficiency phenotype in a subset of trichothiodystrophy cells

Carcinogenesis. 1994 Aug;15(8):1493-8. doi: 10.1093/carcin/15.8.1493.


Trichothiodystrophy (TTD) is a rare genetic disease with heterogeneous clinical features associated with specific deficiencies in nucleotide excision repair. Patients have brittle hair due to a reduced content of cysteine-rich matrix proteins. About 50% of the cases reported in the literature are photosensitive. In these patients an altered cellular response to UV, due to a specific deficiency in nucleotide excision repair, has been observed. The majority of repair-defective TTD patients have been assigned by complementation analysis to group D of xeroderma pigmentosum (XP). Recently, the human excision repair gene ERCC2 has been shown to correct the UV sensitivity of XP-D fibroblasts. In this work we describe the effect of ERCC2 on the DNA repair deficient phenotype of XP-D and on two repair-defective TTD cell strains (TTD1VI and TTD2VI) assigned by complementation analysis to group D of XP. ERCC2 cDNA, cloned into a mammalian expression vector, was introduced into TTD and XP fibroblasts via DNA-mediated transfection or microneedle injection. UV sensitivity and cellular DNA repair properties, including unscheduled DNA synthesis and reactivation of a UV-irradiated plasmid containing the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase reporter gene (pRSVCat), were corrected to wild-type levels in both TTD and XP-D cells. These data show that a functional ERCC2 gene is sufficient to reestablish a wild-type DNA repair phenotype in TTD1VI and TTD2VI cells, confirming the genetic relationship between TTD and XP-D. Furthermore, our findings suggest that mutations at the ERCC2 locus are responsible for causing a similar phenotype in TTD and XP-D cells in response to UV irradiation, but produce quite different clinical symptoms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival / radiation effects
  • Cricetinae
  • DNA Helicases*
  • DNA Repair*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins*
  • Female
  • Hair Diseases / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Phenotype
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • Radiation Tolerance*
  • Transcription Factors*
  • Ultraviolet Rays*
  • Xeroderma Pigmentosum / genetics*
  • Xeroderma Pigmentosum Group D Protein


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • DNA Helicases
  • Xeroderma Pigmentosum Group D Protein
  • ERCC2 protein, human