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EMBO J. 2006 May 3;25(9):1915-23. Epub 2006 Apr 6.

Cockayne syndrome B protein regulates the transcriptional program after UV irradiation.

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Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, CNRS/INSERM, Illkirch, CU Strasbourg, France.


The phenotype of the human genetic disorder Cockayne syndrome (CS) is not only due to DNA repair defect but also (and perhaps essentially) to a severe transcription initiation defect. After UV irradiation, even undamaged genes are not transcribed in CSB cells. Indeed, neither RNA pol II nor the associated basal transcription factors are recruited to the promoters of the housekeeping genes, around of which histone H4 acetylation is also deficient. Transfection of CSB restores the recruitment process of RNA pol II. On the contrary, the p53-responsive genes do not require CSB and are transcribed in both wild-type and CSB cells upon DNA damage. Altogether, our data highlight the pivotal role of CSB in initiating the transcriptional program of certain genes after UV irradiation, and also may explain some of the complex traits of CS patients.

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