The Cockayne syndrome group A gene encodes a WD repeat protein that interacts with CSB protein and a subunit of RNA polymerase II TFIIH.
The hereditary disease Cockayne syndrome (CS) is characterized by a complex clinical phenotype. CS cells are abnormally sensitive to ultraviolet radiation and are defective in the repair of transcriptionally active genes. The cloned CSB gene encodes a member of a protein family that includes the yeast Snf2 protein, a component of the transcriptional regulator Swi/Snf. We report the cloning of the CSA cDNA, which can encode a WD repeat protein. Mutations in the cDNA have been identified in CS-A cell lines. CSA protein interacts with CSB protein and with p44 protein, a subunit of the human RNA polymerase II transcription factor IIH. These observations suggest that the products of the CSA and CSB genes are involved in transcription.