Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) is a rare recessive disorder that is characterized by extreme sensitivity to UV light. UV light exposure results in the formation of DNA damage such as cyclobutane dimers and (6-4) photoproducts. Nucleotide excision repair (NER) orchestrates the removal of cyclobutane dimers and (6-4) photoproducts as well as some forms of bulky chemical DNA adducts. The disease XP is comprised of 7 complementation groups (XP-A to XP-G), which represent functional deficiencies in seven different genes, all of which are believed to be involved in NER. The main clinical feature of XP is various forms of skin cancers; however, neurological degeneration is present in XPA, XPB, XPD and XPG complementation groups. The relationship between NER and other types of DNA repair processes is now becoming evident but the exact relationships between the different complementation groups remains to be precisely determined. Using gene expression analysis we have identified similarities and differences after UV light exposure between the complementation groups XP-A, XP-C, XP-D, XP-E, XP-F, XP-G and an unaffected control. The results reveal that there is a graded change in gene expression patterns between the mildest, most similar to the control response (XP-E) and the severest form (XP-A) of the disease, with the exception of XP-D. Distinct differences between the complementation groups with neurological symptoms (XP-A, XP-D and XP-G) and without (XP-C, XP-E and XP-F) were also identified. Therefore, this analysis has revealed distinct gene expression profiles for the XP complementation groups and the first step towards understanding the neurological symptoms of XP.
Hereditary Cancer in Clinical Practice Vol. 4, Issue 2, p. 103-110