Loss of the XPF-ERCC1 endonuclease causes a dramatic phenotype that results in progeroid features associated with liver, kidney and bone marrow dysfunction. As this nuclease is involved in multiple DNA repair transactions, it is plausible that this severe phenotype results from the simultaneous inactivation of both branches of nucleotide excision repair (GG- and TC-NER) and Fanconi anaemia (FA) inter-strand crosslink (ICL) repair. Here we use genetics in human cells and mice to investigate the interaction between the canonical NER and ICL repair pathways and, subsequently, how their joint inactivation phenotypically overlaps with XPF-ERCC1 deficiency. We find that cells lacking TC-NER are sensitive to crosslinking agents and that there is a genetic interaction between NER and FA in the repair of certain endogenous crosslinking agents. However, joint inactivation of GG-NER, TC-NER and FA crosslink repair cannot account for the hypersensitivity of XPF-deficient cells to classical crosslinking agents nor is it sufficient to explain the extreme phenotype of Ercc1-/- mice. These analyses indicate that XPF-ERCC1 has important functions outside of its central role in NER and FA crosslink repair which are required to prevent endogenous DNA damage. Failure to resolve such damage leads to loss of tissue homeostasis in mice and humans.
- Cross-Linking Reagents/pharmacology
- DNA Damage
- DNA Repair/genetics
- DNA-Binding Proteins/deficiency