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Tang, P. XPC Gene. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 19 April 2024).
Tang P. XPC Gene. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed April 19, 2024.
Tang, Peter. "XPC Gene" Encyclopedia, (accessed April 19, 2024).
Tang, P. (2020, December 24). XPC Gene. In Encyclopedia.
Tang, Peter. "XPC Gene." Encyclopedia. Web. 24 December, 2020.
XPC Gene

XPC complex subunit, DNA damage recognition and repair factor: the XPC gene provides instructions for making a protein that is involved in repairing damaged DNA. 


1. Normal Function

DNA can be damaged by ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun and by toxic chemicals, radiation, and unstable molecules called free radicals.

DNA damage occurs frequently, but normal cells are usually able to fix it before it can cause problems. One of the major mechanisms that cells use to fix DNA is known as nucleotide excision repair (NER). The XPC protein starts this repair process by detecting DNA damage. Then a group (complex) of other proteins unwind the section of DNA where the damage has occurred, snip out (excise) the abnormal section, and replace the damaged area with the correct DNA.

Studies suggest that the XPC protein may have additional roles in DNA repair and in other cell activities. Less is known about these proposed functions of the XPC protein.

2. Health Conditions Related to Genetic Changes

2.1. Xeroderma pigmentosum

More than 40 mutations in the XPC gene have been found to cause xeroderma pigmentosum. Mutations in this gene are the most common cause of this disorder in the United States and Europe.

Most XPC gene mutations prevent the production of any XPC protein. A loss of this protein keeps cells from repairing DNA damage normally. As a result, abnormalities accumulate in DNA, causing cells to malfunction and eventually to become cancerous or die. These problems with DNA repair cause people with xeroderma pigmentosum to be extremely sensitive to UV rays from sunlight. When UV rays damage genes that control cell growth and division, cells can grow too fast and in an uncontrolled way. As a result, people with xeroderma pigmentosum have a greatly increased risk of developing cancer. These cancers occur most frequently in areas of the body that are exposed to the sun, such as the skin and eyes.

Unlike some of the other forms of xeroderma pigmentosum, when the disorder is caused by mutations in the XPC gene it is generally not associated with neurological abnormalities (such as delayed development and hearing loss). It is unclear why some people with xeroderma pigmentosum develop neurological abnormalities and others do not.

3. Other Names for This Gene

  • RAD4

  • Xeroderma pigmentosum group C-complementing protein

  • xeroderma pigmentosum, complementation group C

  • XP3


  • XPCC


  1. Bernardes de Jesus BM, Bjørås M, Coin F, Egly JM. Dissection of the molecular defects caused by pathogenic mutations in the DNA repair factor XPC. Mol CellBiol. 2008 Dec;28(23):7225-35. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00781-08.
  2. Chavanne F, Broughton BC, Pietra D, Nardo T, Browitt A, Lehmann AR, Stefanini M. Mutations in the XPC gene in families with xeroderma pigmentosum andconsequences at the cell, protein, and transcript levels. Cancer Res. 2000 Apr1;60(7):1974-82.
  3. Cleaver JE, Thompson LH, Richardson AS, States JC. A summary of mutations inthe UV-sensitive disorders: xeroderma pigmentosum, Cockayne syndrome, andtrichothiodystrophy. Hum Mutat. 1999;14(1):9-22. Review.
  4. D'Errico M, Parlanti E, Teson M, de Jesus BM, Degan P, Calcagnile A, Jaruga P,Bjørås M, Crescenzi M, Pedrini AM, Egly JM, Zambruno G, Stefanini M, DizdarogluM, Dogliotti E. New functions of XPC in the protection of human skin cells fromoxidative damage. EMBO J. 2006 Sep 20;25(18):4305-15.
  5. Hoogstraten D, Bergink S, Ng JM, Verbiest VH, Luijsterburg MS, Geverts B,Raams A, Dinant C, Hoeijmakers JH, Vermeulen W, Houtsmuller AB. Versatile DNAdamage detection by the global genome nucleotide excision repair protein XPC. JCell Sci. 2008 Sep 1;121(Pt 17):2850-9. doi: 10.1242/jcs.031708.Erratum in: J Cell Sci. 2008 Dec 1;121(Pt 23):3991. Ng, Jessica M Y [added]. JCell Sci. 2008 Sep 1;121(Pt 17):2972.
  6. Khan SG, Oh KS, Shahlavi T, Ueda T, Busch DB, Inui H, Emmert S, Imoto K,Muniz-Medina V, Baker CC, DiGiovanna JJ, Schmidt D, Khadavi A, Metin A, Gozukara E, Slor H, Sarasin A, Kraemer KH. Reduced XPC DNA repair gene mRNA levels inclinically normal parents of xeroderma pigmentosum patients. Carcinogenesis. 2006Jan;27(1):84-94.
  7. Sugasawa K. UV-induced ubiquitylation of XPC complex, the UV-DDB-ubiquitinligase complex, and DNA repair. J Mol Histol. 2006 Sep;37(5-7):189-202.
  8. Sugasawa K. XPC: its product and biological roles. Adv Exp Med Biol.2008;637:47-56. Review.
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Update Date: 24 Dec 2020