Cells with disabling mutations in ERCC1 are more sensitive than normal to particular DNA damaging agents, including ultraviolet (UV) radiation and to chemicals that cause crosslinking between DNA strands. Genetically engineered mice with disabling mutations in ERCC1 have defects in DNA repair, accompanied by metabolic stress-induced changes in physiology that result in premature aging.  Complete deletion of ERCC1 is incompatible with viability of mice, and no human individuals have been found with complete (homozygous) deletion of ERCC1. Rare individuals in the human population harbor inherited mutations that impair the function of ERCC1. When the normal genes are absent, these mutations can lead to human syndromes, including Cockayne syndrome (CS) and COFS .