The UVSSA gene provides instructions for making a protein that is involved in repairing DNA damaged by ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. The damage can block vital cell activities such as gene transcription, which is the first step in protein production. If left uncorrected, DNA damage accumulates, which causes cells to malfunction and can lead to cell death.
Cells have several mechanisms to correct DNA damage. The UVSSA protein is involved in one mechanism that repairs damaged DNA within active genes (those genes undergoing gene transcription). When DNA in active genes is damaged, the enzyme that carries out gene transcription (RNA polymerase) gets stuck, and the process stalls. Researchers think that the UVSSA protein helps remove RNA polymerase from the damaged site, so the DNA can be repaired. Part of the UVSSA protein's role in this process is to ensure that another important protein called CSB is not broken down by exposure to UV rays.
Health Conditions Related to Genetic Changes
Mutations in the UVSSA gene cause UV-sensitive syndrome, which is a disorder characterized by sun sensitivity. People with this condition sunburn easily and have freckled skin or other changes in skin coloring (pigmentation). At least three UVSSA gene mutations have been identified, and these mutations eliminate the production of the UVSSA protein. Without this protein, skin cells cannot repair DNA damage caused by UV rays, and transcription of damaged genes is blocked. However, it is unclear exactly how a loss of the UVSSA protein causes the signs and symptoms of UV-sensitive syndrome.More About This Health Condition
Other Names for This Gene
- UV-stimulated scaffold protein A
Additional Information & Resources
Tests Listed in the Genetic Testing Registry
Scientific Articles on PubMed
Catalog of Genes and Diseases from OMIM
- Nakazawa Y, Sasaki K, Mitsutake N, Matsuse M, Shimada M, Nardo T, Takahashi Y, Ohyama K, Ito K, Mishima H, Nomura M, Kinoshita A, Ono S, Takenaka K, Masuyama R, Kudo T, Slor H, Utani A, Tateishi S, Yamashita S, Stefanini M, Lehmann AR, Yoshiura K, Ogi T. Mutations in UVSSA cause UV-sensitive syndrome and impair RNA polymerase IIo processing in transcription-coupled nucleotide-excision repair. Nat Genet. 2012 May;44(5):586-92. doi: 10.1038/ng.2229. Citation on PubMed
- Schwertman P, Lagarou A, Dekkers DH, Raams A, van der Hoek AC, Laffeber C, Hoeijmakers JH, Demmers JA, Fousteri M, Vermeulen W, Marteijn JA. UV-sensitive syndrome protein UVSSA recruits USP7 to regulate transcription-coupled repair. Nat Genet. 2012 May;44(5):598-602. doi: 10.1038/ng.2230. Citation on PubMed
- Zhang X, Horibata K, Saijo M, Ishigami C, Ukai A, Kanno S, Tahara H, Neilan EG, Honma M, Nohmi T, Yasui A, Tanaka K. Mutations in UVSSA cause UV-sensitive syndrome and destabilize ERCC6 in transcription-coupled DNA repair. Nat Genet. 2012 May;44(5):593-7. doi: 10.1038/ng.2228. Citation on PubMed