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Synthetic lethality between PAXX and XLF in mammalian development

Balmus G, Barros AC, Wijnhoven PWG, Lescale C, Lenden Hasse H, Boroviak K, le Sage C, Doe B, Speak AO, Galli A, Jacobsen M, Deriano L, Adams DJ, Blackford AN, and Jackson SP. Genes and Development 30, 2133-2151.

PAXX was identified recently as a novel nonhomologous end-joining DNA repair factor in human cells. To characterize its physiological roles, we generated Paxx-deficient mice. Like Xlf−/− mice, Paxx−/− mice are viable, grow normally, and are fertile but show mild radiosensitivity. Strikingly, while Paxx loss is epistatic with Ku80, Lig4, and Atm deficiency, Paxx/Xlf double-knockout mice display embryonic lethality associated with genomic instability, cell death in the central nervous system, and an almost complete block in lymphogenesis, phenotypes that closely resemble those of Xrcc4−/− and Lig4−/− mice. Thus, combined loss of Paxx and Xlf is synthetic-lethal in mammals.

Michael Lakeland