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Keywords:

  • lamin;
  • laminopathies;
  • muscular dystrophy;
  • nuclear envelope;
  • skin fibroblasts

Abstract

Mutations in LMNA, the gene that encodes nuclear lamins A and C, cause up to eight different diseases collectively referred to as “laminopathies.” These diseases affect striated muscle, adipose tissue, peripheral nerve, and bone, or cause features of premature aging. We investigated the consequences of LMNA mutations on nuclear architecture in skin fibroblasts from 13 patients with different laminopathies. Western-blotting showed that none of the mutations examined led to a decrease in cellular levels of lamin A or C. Regardless of the disease, we observed honeycomb nuclear structures and nuclear envelope blebs in cells examined by immunofluorescence microscopy. Concentrated foci of lamin A/C in the nucleoplasm were also observed. Only mutations in the head and tail domains of lamins A and C significantly altered the nuclear architecture of patient fibroblasts. These results confirm that mutations in lamins A and C may lead to a weakening of a structural support network in the nuclear envelope in fibroblasts and that nuclear architecture changes depend upon the location of the mutation in different domains of lamin A/C. Muscle Nerve 30: 444–450, 2004