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J Cell Biol. 2007 Jun 18;177(6):969-79. Epub 2007 Jun 11.

Senataxin, defective in ataxia oculomotor apraxia type 2, is involved in the defense against oxidative DNA damage.

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  • 1Radiation Biology and Oncology Laboratory, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, QLD 4029, Australia.


A defective response to DNA damage is observed in several human autosomal recessive ataxias with oculomotor apraxia, including ataxia-telangiectasia. We report that senataxin, defective in ataxia oculomotor apraxia (AOA) type 2, is a nuclear protein involved in the DNA damage response. AOA2 cells are sensitive to H2O2, camptothecin, and mitomycin C, but not to ionizing radiation, and sensitivity was rescued with full-length SETX cDNA. AOA2 cells exhibited constitutive oxidative DNA damage and enhanced chromosomal instability in response to H2O2. Rejoining of H2O2-induced DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) was significantly reduced in AOA2 cells compared to controls, and there was no evidence for a defect in DNA single-strand break repair. This defect in DSB repair was corrected by full-length SETX cDNA. These results provide evidence that an additional member of the autosomal recessive AOA is also characterized by a defective response to DNA damage, which may contribute to the neurodegeneration seen in this syndrome.

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