Lethality in yeast of trichothiodystrophy (TTD) mutations in the human xeroderma pigmentosum group D gene: Implications for transcriptional defect in TTD

Sami N. Guzder, Patrick Sung, Satya Prakash, Louise Prakash

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Mutations in the human XPD gene result in a defect in nucleotide excision repair of ultraviolet damaged DNA and cause the cancer-prone syndrome xeroderma pigmentosum (XP). Besides XP, mutations in XPD can cause another seemingly unrelated syndrome, trichothiodystrophy (TTD), characterized by sulfur-deficient brittle hair, ichthyosis, and physical and mental retardation. To ascertain the underlying defect responsible for TTD, we have expressed the TTD mutant proteins in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and determined if these mutations can rescue the inviability of a rod3 null mutation. RAD3, the S. cerevisiae counterpart of XPD, is required for nucleotide excision repair and also has an essential role in RNA polymerase II transcription. Expression of the wild type XPD protein or the XPD Arg-48 protein carrying a mutation in the DNA helicase domain restores viability to the rad3 null mutation. Interestingly, the XPD variants containing TTD mutations fail to complement the lethality of the rad3 null mutation, strongly suggesting that TTD mutations impair the ability of XPD protein to function normally in RNA polymerase II transcription. From our studies, we conclude that XPD DNA helicase activity is not essential for transcription and infer that TTD mutations in XPD result in a defect in transcription.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17660-17663
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number30
StatePublished - Jul 28 1995
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

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