Lipodystrophies are a heterogeneous group of human disorders characterized by the anomalous distribution of body fat associated with insulin resistance and altered lipid metabolism. The pathogenetic mechanism of inherited lipodystrophies is not yet clear; at the molecular level they have been linked to mutations of lamin A/C, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPARgamma) and other seemingly unrelated proteins. In this study, we examined lamin A/C processing in three laminopathies characterized by lipodystrophic phenotypes: Dunnigan type familial partial lipodystrophy, mandibuloacral dysplasia and atypical Werner's syndrome. We found that the lamin A precursor was specifically accumulated in lipodystrophy cells. Pre-lamin A was located at the nuclear envelope and co-localized with the adipocyte transcription factor sterol regulatory element binding protein 1 (SREBP1). Using co-immunoprecipitation experiments, we obtained the first demonstration of an in vivo interaction between SREBP1 and pre-lamin A. Binding of SREBP1 to the lamin A precursor was detected in patient fibroblasts as well as in control fibroblasts forced to accumulate pre-lamin A by farnesylation inhibitors. In contrast, SREBP1 did not interact in vivo with mature lamin A or C in cultured fibroblasts. To gain insights into the effect of pre-lamin A accumulation in adipose tissue, we inhibited lamin A precursor processing in 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes. Our results show that pre-lamin A sequesters SREBP1 at the nuclear rim, thus decreasing the pool of active SREBP1 that normally activates PPARgamma and causing impairment of pre-adipocyte differentiation. This defect can be rescued by treatment with troglitazone, a known PPARgamma ligand activating the adipogenic program.
Proteins of the nuclear envelope (NE) are associated with a range of inherited disorders, most commonly involving muscular dystrophy and cardiomyopathy, as exemplified by Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (EDMD). EDMD is both genetically and phenotypically variable, and some evidence of modifier genes has been reported. Six genes have so far been linked to EDMD, four encoding proteins associated with the LINC complex that connects the nucleus to the cytoskeleton. However, 50% of patients have no identifiable mutations in these genes. Using a candidate approach, we have identified putative disease-causing variants in the SUN1 and SUN2 genes, also encoding LINC complex components, in patients with EDMD and related myopathies. Our data also suggest that SUN1 and SUN2 can act as disease modifier genes in individuals with co-segregating mutations in other EDMD genes. Five SUN1/SUN2 variants examined impaired rearward nuclear repositioning in fibroblasts, confirming defective LINC complex function in nuclear-cytoskeletal coupling. Furthermore, myotubes from a patient carrying compound heterozygous SUN1 mutations displayed gross defects in myonuclear organization. This was accompanied by loss of recruitment of centrosomal marker, pericentrin, to the NE and impaired microtubule nucleation at the NE, events that are required for correct myonuclear arrangement. These defects were recapitulated in C2C12 myotubes expressing exogenous SUN1 variants, demonstrating a direct link between SUN1 mutation and impairment of nuclear-microtubule coupling and myonuclear positioning. Our findings strongly support an important role for SUN1 and SUN2 in muscle disease pathogenesis and support the hypothesis that defects in the LINC complex contribute to disease pathology through disruption of nuclear-microtubule association, resulting in defective myonuclear positioning.
Abstract. Hutchinson-Gilford progeria (HGPS) is a premature aging syndrome associated with LMNA mutations. Progeria cells bearing the G608G LMNA mutation are characterized by accumulation of a mutated lamin A precursor (progerin), nuclear dysmorphism and chromatin disorganization. In cultured HGPS fi broblasts, we found worsening of the cellular phenotype with patient age, mainly consisting of increased nuclear-shape abnormalities, progerin accumulation and heterochromatin loss. Moreover, transcript distribution was altered in HGPS nuclei, as determined by different techniques. In the attempt to improve the cellular phenotype, we applied treatment with drugs either affecting protein farnesylation or chromatin arrangement. Our results show that the combined treatment with mevinolin and the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A dramatically lowers progerin levels, leading to rescue of heterochromatin organization and reorganization of transcripts in HGPS fi broblasts. These results suggest that morpho-functional defects of HGPS nuclei are directly related to progerin accumulation and can be rectifi ed by drug treatment.
Lamin A is a nuclear lamina constituent expressed in differentiated cells. Mutations in the LMNA gene cause several diseases, including muscular dystrophy and cardiomyopathy. Among the nuclear envelope partners of lamin A are Sad1 and UNC84 domain-containing protein 1 (SUN1) and Sad1 and UNC84 domain-containing protein 2 (SUN2), which mediate nucleocytoskeleton interactions critical to the anchorage of nuclei. In this study, we show that differentiating human myoblasts accumulate farnesylated prelamin A, which elicits upregulation and recruitment of SUN1 to the nuclear envelope and favors SUN2 enrichment at the nuclear poles. Indeed, impairment of prelamin A farnesylation alters SUN1 recruitment and SUN2 localization. Moreover, nuclear positioning in myotubes is severely affected in the absence of farnesylated prelamin A. Importantly, reduced prelamin A and SUN1 levels are observed in Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (EDMD) myoblasts, concomitant with altered myonuclear positioning. These results demonstrate that the interplay between SUN1 and farnesylated prelamin A contributes to nuclear positioning in human myofibers and may be implicated in pathogenetic mechanisms.
by a mutation in LMNA encoding lamin A/C. Here we show that this mutation causes accumulation of the lamin A precursor protein, a marked alteration of the nuclear architecture and, hence, chromatin disorganization. Heterochromatin domains are altered or completely lost in MADA nuclei, consistent with the finding that heterochromatin-associated protein HP1␤ and histone H3 methylated at lysine 9 and their nuclear envelope partner protein lamin B receptor (LBR) are delocalized and solubilized. Both accumulation of lamin A precursor and chromatin defects become more severe in older patients. These results strongly suggest that altered chromatin remodeling is a key event in the cascade of epigenetic events causing MADA and could be related to the premature-aging phenotype.LMNA; heterochromatin; heterochromatin protein-1␤; prelamin A MANDIBULOACRAL DYSPLASIA type A [MADA; Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) no. 248370] is a rare and complex disease characterized by postnatal growth retardation, craniofacial anomalies, skeletal malformations, mottled cutaneous pigmentation, partial lipodystrophy (type A pattern), and insulin resistance (11,17,49). MADA patients seem to be genetically homogeneous, since they show the same mutation (R527H) in the LMNA gene that encodes A-type lamins, lamins A and C (35, 42). In contrast, patients with generalized loss of subcutaneous fat involving the face, trunk, and extremities (type B pattern) carry mutations in the ZMPSTE24 gene (MADB; OMIM no. 608612) (1, 43).Lamins are type V intermediate filament proteins that display a central rod domain, an NH 2 -terminal head domain, and a COOH-terminal globular tail. Lamins A and C, together with B-type lamins, lamin B1 and B2, are the major components of the nuclear lamina, located between the inner nuclear membrane and the chromatin. A growing number of proteins are known to interact with lamins. Numerous experimental evidences suggest that nuclear lamins are involved in many functions including nuclear positioning and shape, chromatin organization, nuclear envelope assembly/disassembly, DNA replication, and regulation of gene transcriptional activity (18).
Fibroblasts from patients with the severe laminopathy diseases, restrictive dermopathy (RD) and Hutchinson Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS), are characterized by poor growth in culture, the presence of abnormally shaped nuclei and the accumulation of DNA double-strand breaks (DSB). Here we show that the accumulation of DSB and poor growth of the fibroblasts but not the presence of abnormally shaped nuclei are caused by elevated levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and greater sensitivity to oxidative stress. Basal levels of ROS and sensitivity to H(2)O(2) were compared in fibroblasts from normal, RD and HGPS individuals using fluorescence activated cell sorting-based assays. Basal levels of ROS and stimulated levels of ROS were both 5-fold higher in the progeria fibroblasts. Elevated levels of ROS were correlated with lower proliferation indices but not with the presence of abnormally shaped nuclei. DSB induced by etoposide were repaired efficiently in normal, RD and HGPS fibroblasts. In contrast, DSB induced by ROS were repaired efficiently in normal fibroblasts, but in RD and HGPS fibroblasts many ROS-induced DSB were un-repairable. The accumulation of ROS-induced DSB appeared to cause the poor growth of RD and HGPS fibroblasts, since culture in the presence of the ROS scavenger N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) reduced the basal levels of DSB, eliminated un-repairable ROS-induced DSB and greatly improved population-doubling times. Our findings suggest that un-repaired ROS-induced DSB contribute significantly to the RD and HGPS phenotypes and that inclusion of NAC in a combinatorial therapy might prove beneficial to HGPS patients.
CD99 was recently reported to be under control of the osteoblast-specific transcription factor Cbfa1 (RUNX2) in osteoblasts, suggesting a role in the phato-physiology of these cells. No extensive information is available on the role(s) of this molecule in malignant phenotype, and osteosarcoma, in particular, has never been studied. We report that in 11 different cell lines and 17 clinical samples CD99 expression is either undetectable or very low. Being expressed in the normal counterpart, we tested the hypothesis that CD99 down-regulation may have a role in osteosarcoma development and progression. CD99-forced expression in two osteosarcoma cell lines significantly reduced resistance to anoikis, inhibited growth in anchorage independence as well as cell migration, and led to abrogation of tumorigenic and metastatic ability. Therefore, the molecule acts as a potent suppressor of malignancy in osteosarcoma. CD99 gene transfection induces caveolin-1 up-regulation and the two molecules were found to colocalize on the cell surface. Treatment with antisense oligonucleotides to caveolin-1 abrogates the effects of CD99 on migration. The findings point to an antioncogenic role for CD99 in osteosarcoma, likely through the regulation of caveolin-1 and inhibition of c-Src kinase activity.
Interconnected functional strategies govern chromatin dynamics in eukaryotic cells. In this context, A and B type lamins, the nuclear intermediate filaments, act on diverse platforms involved in tissue homeostasis. On the nuclear side, lamins elicit large scale or fine chromatin conformational changes, affect DNA damage response factors and transcription factor shuttling. On the cytoplasmic side, bridging-molecules, the LINC complex, associate with lamins to coordinate chromatin dynamics with cytoskeleton and extra-cellular signals. Consistent with such a fine tuning, lamin mutations and/or defects in their expression or post-translational processing, as well as mutations in lamin partner genes, cause a heterogeneous group of diseases known as laminopathies. They include muscular dystrophies, cardiomyopathy, lipodystrophies, neuropathies, and progeroid syndromes. The study of chromatin dynamics under pathological conditions, which is summarized in this review, is shedding light on the complex and fascinating role of the nuclear lamina in chromatin regulation.
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