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Curr Biol. 1996 Dec 1;6(12):1691-4.

Synergistic interactions between XPC and p53 mutations in double-mutant mice: neural tube abnormalities and accelerated UV radiation-induced skin cancer.

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Department of Pathology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas 75235, USA.


The significance of DNA repair to human health has been well documented by studies on xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) patients, who suffer a dramatically increased risk of cancer in sun-exposed areas of their skin [1,2]. This autosomal recessive disorder has been directly associated with a defect in nucleotide excision-repair (NER) [1,2]. Like human XP individuals, mice carrying homozygous mutations in XP genes manifest a predisposition to skin carcinogenesis following exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation [3-5]. Recent studies have suggested that, in addition to roles in apoptosis [6] and cell-cycle checkpoint control [7] in response to DNA damage, p53 protein may modulate NER [8]. Mutations in the p53 gene have been observed in 50% of all human tumors [9] and have been implicated in both the early [10] and late [11] stages of skin cancer. To examine the consequences of a combined deficiency of the XPC and the p53 proteins in mice, we generated double-mutant animals. We document a spectrum of neural tube defects in XPC p53 mutant embryos. Additionally, we show that, following exposure to UV-B radiation, XPC p53 mutant mice have more severe solar keratosis and suffer accelerated skin cancer compared with XPC mutant mice that are wild-type with respect to p53.

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