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Mol Cell Biol. 2001 Dec;21(24):8651-6.

Requirement for yeast RAD26, a homolog of the human CSB gene, in elongation by RNA polymerase II.

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Sealy Center for Molecular Science, University of Texas Medical Branch, 6.104 Blocker Medical Research Building, 11th and Mechanic Streets, Galveston, TX 77555-1061, USA.


Mutations in the human CSB gene cause Cockayne syndrome (CS). In addition to increased photosensitivity, CS patients suffer from severe developmental abnormalities, including growth retardation and mental retardation. Whereas a deficiency in the preferential repair of UV lesions from the transcribed strand accounts for the increased photosensitivity of CS patients, the reason for developmental defects in these individuals has remained unclear. Here we provide in vivo evidence for a role of RAD26, the counterpart of the CSB gene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, in transcription elongation by RNA polymerase II, and in addition we show that under conditions requiring rapid synthesis of new mRNAs, growth is considerably reduced in cells lacking RAD26. These findings implicate a role for CSB in transcription elongation, and they strongly suggest that impaired transcription elongation is the underlying cause of the developmental problems in CS patients.

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