DNA repair-deficiency disorder

A DNA repair-deficiency disorder is a medical condition due to reduced functionality of DNA repair.

DNA repair defects can cause an accelerated aging disease or an increased risk of cancer, or sometimes both.

DNA repair defects are seen in nearly all of the diseases described as accelerated aging disease, in which various tissues, organs or systems of the human body ageprematurely. Because the accelerated aging diseases display different aspects of aging, but never every aspect, they are often called segmental progerias by biogerontologists.

Some examples of DNA repair defects causing progeroid syndromes in humans or mice are shown in Table 1. Below, the common DNA disorder characterized by accelerated aging

Ataxia-telangiectasia. Bloom syndrome Cockayne syndrome Fanconi anemia Progeria (Hutchinson–Gilford progeria syndrome) Rothmund–Thomson syndrome Trichothiodystrophy  Werner syndrome Xeroderma pigmentosum

Table 1. DNA repair proteins that, when deficient, cause features of accelerated aging (segmental progeria).
Protein Pathway Description
ATR Nucleotide excision repair[1] deletion of ATR in adult mice leads to a number of disorders including hair loss and graying, kyphosis, osteoporosis, premature involution of the thymus, fibrosis of the heart and kidney and decreased spermatogenesis[2]
DNA-PKcs Non-homologous end joining shorter lifespan, earlier onset of aging related pathologies;[3][4] higher level of DNA damage persistence[5]
ERCC1 Nucleotide excision repair, Interstrand cross link repair[6] deficient transcription coupled NER with time-dependent accumulation of transcription-blocking damages;[7] mouse life span reduced from 2.5 years to 5 months;[8]) Ercc1−/− mice are leukopenic and thrombocytopenic, and there is extensive adipose transformation of the bone marrow, hallmark features of normal aging in mice[6]
ERCC2(XPD) Nucleotide excision repair (also transcription as part of TFIIH) some mutations in ERCC2 cause Cockayne syndrome in which patients have segmental progeria with reduced stature, mental retardation, cachexia (loss of subcutaneous fat tissue), sensorineural deafness, retinal degeneration, and calcification of the central nervous system; other mutations in ERCC2 cause trichothiodystrophy in which patients have segmental progeria with brittle hair, short stature, progressive cognitive impairment and abnormal face shape; still other mutations in ERCC2 cause xeroderma pigmentosum (without a progeroid syndrome) and with extreme sun-mediated skin cancer predisposition[9]
ERCC4(XPF) Nucleotide excision repair, Interstrand cross link repair, Single-strand annealing, Microhomology-mediated end joining[6] mutations in ERCC4 cause symptoms of accelerated aging that affect the neurologic, hepatobiliary, musculoskeletal, and hematopoietic systems, and cause an old, wizened appearance, loss of subcutaneous fat, liver dysfunction, vision and hearing loss, renal insufficiency, muscle wasting, osteopenia, kyphosis and cerebral atrophy[6]
ERCC5(XPG) Nucleotide excision repair,[10]Homologous recombinational repair,[11]Base excision repair[12][13] mice with deficient ERCC5 show loss of subcutaneous fat, kyphosis, osteoporosis, retinal photoreceptor loss, liver aging, extensive neurodegeneration, and a short lifespan of 4–5 months
ERCC6(Cockayne syndrome B or CS-B) Nucleotide excision repair [especially transcription coupled repair (TC-NER) and interstrand crosslink repair] premature aging features with shorter life span and photosensitivity,[14] deficient transcription coupled NER with accumulation of unrepaired DNA damages,[15] also defective repair of oxidatively generated DNA damages including 8-oxoguanine, 5-hydroxycytosine and cyclopurines[15]
ERCC8(Cockayne syndrome A or CS-A) Nucleotide excision repair [especially transcription coupled repair (TC-NER) and interstrand crosslink repair] premature aging features with shorter life span and photosensitivity,[14] deficient transcription coupled NER with accumulation of unrepaired DNA damages,[15] also defective repair of oxidatively generated DNA damages including 8-oxoguanine, 5-hydroxycytosine and cyclopurines[15]
GTF2H5(TTDA) Nucleotide excision repair deficiency causes trichothiodystrophy (TTD) a premature-ageing and neuroectodermal disease; humans with GTF2H5mutations have a partially inactivated protein[16] with retarded repair of 6-4-photoproducts[17]
Ku70 Non-homologous end joining shorter lifespan, earlier onset of aging related pathologies;[18] persistent foci of DNA double-strand break repair proteins[19]
Ku80 Non-homologous end joining shorter lifespan, earlier onset of aging related pathologies;[20] defective repair of spontaneous DNA damage[18]
Lamin A Non-homologous end joining, Homologous recombination increased DNA damage and chromosome aberrations; progeria; aspects of premature aging; altered expression of numerous DNA repair factors[21]
NRMT1 Nucleotide excision repair[22] mutation in NRMT1 causes decreased body size, female-specific infertility, kyphosis, decreased mitochondrial function, and early-onset liver degeneration[23]
RECQL4 Base excision repair, Nucleotide excision repair, Homologous recombination, Non-homologous end joining[24] mutations in RECQL4 cause Rothmund-Thomson syndrome, with alopecia, sparse eye brows and lashes, cataracts and osteoporosis[24]
SIRT6 Base excision repair, Nucleotide excision repair, Homologous recombination, Non-homologous end joining[25] SIRT6-deficient mice develop profound lymphopenia, loss of subcutaneous fat and lordokyphosis, and these defects overlap with aging-associated degenerative processes[26]
SIRT7 Non-homologous end joining mice defective in SIRT7 show phenotypic and molecular signs of accelerated aging such as premature pronounced curvature of the spine, reduced life span, and reduced non-homologous end joining[27]
Werner syndrome helicase Homologous recombination,[28][29]Non-homologous end joining,[30]Base excision repair,[31][32] Replication arrest recovery[33] shorter lifespan, earlier onset of aging related pathologies, genome instability[34][35]
ZMPSTE24 Homologous recombination lack of Zmpste24 prevents lamin A formation and causes progeroid phenotypes in mice and humans, increased DNA damage and chromosome aberrations, sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents and deficiency in homologous recombination[36]

Most of the DNA repair deficiency diseases show varying degrees of “accelerated aging” or cancer (often some of both).[37] But elimination of any gene essential for base excision repair kills the embryo—it is too lethal to display symptoms (much less symptoms of cancer or “accelerated aging”).[38] Rothmund-Thomson syndrome and xeroderma pigmentosum display symptoms dominated by vulnerability to cancer, whereas progeria and Werner syndrome show the most features of “accelerated aging”. Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) is very often caused by a defective MSH2 gene leading to defective mismatch repair, but displays no symptoms of “accelerated aging”.[39] On the other hand, Cockayne Syndrome and trichothiodystrophy show mainly features of accelerated aging, but apparently without an increased risk of cancer[40] Some DNA repair defects manifest as neurodegeneration rather than as cancer or “accelerated aging”.[41] (Also see the “DNA damage theory of aging” for a discussion of the evidence that DNA damage is the primary underlying cause of aging.)

Some biogerontologists question that such a thing as “accelerated aging” actually exists, at least partly on the grounds that all of the so-called accelerated aging diseases are segmental progerias. Many disease conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, etc., are associated with increased mortality. Without reliable biomarkers of aging it is hard to support the claim that a disease condition represents more than accelerated mortality.[42]

Against this position other biogerontologists argue that premature aging phenotypes are identifiable symptoms associated with mechanisms of molecular damage.[37] The fact that these phenotypes are widely recognized justifies classification of the relevant diseases as “accelerated aging”.[43] Such conditions, it is argued, are readily distinguishable from genetic diseases associated with increased mortality, but not associated with an aging phenotype, such as cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia. It is further argued that segmental aging phenotype is a natural part of aging insofar as genetic variation leads to some people being more disposed than others to aging-associated diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.[44]

Individuals with an inherited impairment in DNA repair capability are often at increased risk of cancer.[45] When a mutation is present in a DNA repair gene, the repair gene will either not be expressed or be expressed in an altered form. Then the repair function will likely be deficient, and, as a consequence, damages will tend to accumulate. Such DNA damages can cause errors during DNA synthesis leading to mutations, some of which may give rise to cancer. Germ-line DNA repair mutations that increase the risk of cancer are listed in the Table.

Inherited DNA repair gene mutations that increase cancer risk
DNA repair gene Protein Repair pathways affected Cancers with increased risk
breast cancer 1 & 2 BRCA1BRCA2 HRR of double strand breaks and daughter strand gaps[46] breast, ovarian [47]
ataxia telangiectasia mutated ATM Different mutations in ATM reduce HRR, SSAor NHEJ[48] leukemia, lymphoma, breast [48][49]
Nijmegen breakage syndrome NBS (NBN) NHEJ[50] lymphoid cancers [50]
MRE11A MRE11 HRR and NHEJ [51] breast [52]
Bloom syndrome BLM (helicase) HRR [53] leukemia, lymphoma, colon, breast, skin, lung, auditory canal, tongue, esophagus, stomach, tonsil, larynx, uterus [54]
WRN WRN HRR, NHEJ, long patch BER[55] soft tissue sarcoma, colorectal, skin, thyroid, pancreas [56]
RECQL4 RECQ4 Helicase likely active in HRR [57] basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, intraepidermal carcinoma [58]
Fanconi anemia genes FANCA,B,C,D1,D2,E,F,G,I,J,L,M,N FANCA etc. HRR and TLS[59] leukemia, liver tumors, solid tumors many areas [60]
XPC, XPE (DDB2) XPC, XPE Global genomic NER, repairs damage in both transcribed and untranscribed DNA [61][62] skin cancer (melanoma and non-melanoma) [61][62]
XPA, XPB, XPD, XPF, XPG XPA XPB XPD XPF XPG Transcription coupled NER repairs the transcribed strands of transcriptionally active genes [63] skin cancer (melanoma and non-melanoma) [63]
XPV (also called polymerase H) XPV (POLH) Translesion synthesis (TLS)[64] skin cancers (basal cell, squamous cell, melanoma) [64]
mutS (E. coli) homolog 2, mutS (E. coli) homolog 6, mutL (E. coli) homolog 1,postmeiotic segregation increased 2 (S. cerevisiae) MSH2MSH6MLH1PMS2 MMR[65] colorectal, endometrial [65]
mutY homolog (E. coli) MUTYH BER of A paired with 8-oxo-dG[66] colon [66]
TP53 P53 Direct role in HRR, BER, NER and acts in DNA damage response[67] for those pathways and for NHEJ and MMR [68] sarcomas, breast cancers, brain tumors, and adrenocortical carcinomas [69]
NTHL1 NTHL1 BER for Tg, FapyG, 5-hC, 5-hU in dsDNA[70] Colon cancer, endometrial cancer, duodenal cancer, basal-cell carcinoma[71]


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BRCA – Companion Reviews and Search Terms

BRCA1 – Companion Reviews and Search Terms

BRCA2 – Companion Reviews and Search Terms

ATM – Companion Reviews and Search Terms

NBS1 – Companion Reviews and Search Terms

Bloom s syndrome – Companion Reviews and Search Terms

Fanconi s anemia – Companion Reviews and Search Terms

WRN – Companion Reviews and Search Terms

RECQ- Companion Reviews and Search Terms

RECQL4 – Companion Reviews and Search Terms

FANCJ – Companion Reviews and Search Terms

FANCM – Companion Reviews and Search Terms

FANCN – Companion Reviews and Search Terms

XPB – Companion Reviews and Search Terms

XPD – Companion Reviews and Search Terms

XPG – Companion Reviews and Search Terms

MSH6 – Companion Reviews and Search Terms

MUTYH – Companion Reviews and Search Terms

DNA repair and toxicology – Companion Reviews and Search Terms

Neoplasia inherited – Companion Reviews and Search Terms

Neoplasia carcinogenesis – Companion Reviews and Search Terms

Segmental Progeria

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