Artemis is a mammalian protein, the absence of which results in SCID in Athabascan-speaking Native Americans (SCIDA). This novel protein has been implicated in DNA double-strand break repair and V(D)J recombination. We have cloned the Artemis murine counterpart, mArt, and generated a mouse with a targeted disruption of mArt. Artemis-deficient mice show a similar T-B- NK+ immunodeficiency phenotype, and carry a profound impairment in coding joint rearrangement, while retaining intact signal ends and close to normal signal joint formation. mArt-/- embryonic fibroblasts show increased sensitivity to ionizing radiation. Hemopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation using 500-5000 enriched congenic, but not allogeneic mismatched HSC corrected the T cell and partially corrected the B cell defect. Large numbers (40,000) of allogeneic mismatched HSC or pretreatment with 300 cGy of radiation overcame graft resistance, resulting in limited B cell engraftment. Our results suggest that the V(D)J and DNA repair defects seen in this mArt-/- mouse model are comparable to those in humans with Artemis deficiency, and that the recovery of immunity following HSC transplantation favors T rather than B cell reconstitution, consistent with what is seen in children with this form of SCID.