Xeroderma pigmentosum group A gene (XPA)-deficient mice are defective in nucleotide excision repair (NER) and are therefore highly sensitive to ultraviolet (UV)-induced skin carcinogenesis. We established cell lines from skin cancers of UVB-irradiated XPA-deficient mice to investigate the phenotypic changes occurring during skin carcinogenesis. As anticipated, the skin cancer cell lines were devoid of NER activity but were less sensitive to killing by UV-irradiation than the XPA(-/-) fibroblast cell line. The lines were also more resistant to 6-thioguanine (6-TG) than XPA(-/-) and XPA(+/+) fibroblasts, which was suggestive of a mismatch repair (MMR) defect. Indeed, in vitro mismatch binding and MMR activity were impaired in several of these cell lines. Moreover, these cell lines displayed cell cycle checkpoint derangements following UV-irradiation and 6-TG exposure. The above findings suggest that MMR downregulation may help cells escape killing by UVB, as was seen previously for methylating agents and cisplatin, and thus that MMR deficient clones are selected for during the tumorigenic transformation of XPA(-/-) cells. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.
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