Gender and Cell-Type-Specific Effects of the Transcription-Coupled Repair Protein, ERCC6/CSB, on Repeat Expansion in a Mouse Model of the Fragile X-Related Disorders

Authors

  • Xiao-Nan Zhao,

    1. Section on Gene Structure and Disease, Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Biology, National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
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  • Karen Usdin

    Corresponding author
    1. Section on Gene Structure and Disease, Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Biology, National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
    • Correspondence to: Karen Usdin, Building #8, Room #2A19, National Institutes of Health, 8 Center DR MSC 0830, Bethesda, MD 20892-0830. E-mail: ku@helix.nih.gov

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  • Contract grant sponsor: Intramural Program of the NIDDK, National Institutes of Health (DK057808-05).

  • Communicated by Haig H. Kazazian

ABSTRACT

The repeat expansion diseases are human genetic disorders that arise from the expansion of a tandem-repeat tract. The Fragile X-related disorders are members of this disease group in which the repeat unit is CGG/CCG and is located in the 5′ untranslated region of the FMR1 gene. Affected individuals often show mosaicism with respect to repeat number resulting from both expansion and contraction of the repeat tract; however, the mechanism responsible for these changes in repeat number is unknown. The work from a variety of model systems suggests that transcription-coupled repair (TCR) may contribute to repeat instability in diseases resulting from CAG/CTG-repeat expansion. To test whether TCR could contribute to repeat instability in the Fragile X-related disorders, we tested the effect of mutations in Csb (Cockayne syndrome group B), a gene essential for TCR, in a knock-in mouse model of these disorders. We found that the loss of CSB affects expansions in a gender and cell-type-specific manner. Our data also show an unanticipated gender difference in instability even in Csb+/+ animals that may have implications for our understanding of the mechanism of repeat expansion in the FX mouse model and perhaps for humans as well.

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