Reversal of the cellular phenotype in the premature aging disease Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome

Nat Med. 2005 Apr;11(4):440-5. doi: 10.1038/nm1204. Epub 2005 Mar 6.


Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is a childhood premature aging disease caused by a spontaneous point mutation in lamin A (encoded by LMNA), one of the major architectural elements of the mammalian cell nucleus. The HGPS mutation activates an aberrant cryptic splice site in LMNA pre-mRNA, leading to synthesis of a truncated lamin A protein and concomitant reduction in wild-type lamin A. Fibroblasts from individuals with HGPS have severe morphological abnormalities in nuclear envelope structure. Here we show that the cellular disease phenotype is reversible in cells from individuals with HGPS. Introduction of wild-type lamin A protein does not rescue the cellular disease symptoms. The mutant LMNA mRNA and lamin A protein can be efficiently eliminated by correction of the aberrant splicing event using a modified oligonucleotide targeted to the activated cryptic splice site. Upon splicing correction, HGPS fibroblasts assume normal nuclear morphology, the aberrant nuclear distribution and cellular levels of lamina-associated proteins are rescued, defects in heterochromatin-specific histone modifications are corrected and proper expression of several misregulated genes is reestablished. Our results establish proof of principle for the correction of the premature aging phenotype in individuals with HGPS.

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Nucleus
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Lamin Type A / metabolism*
  • Nuclear Envelope / pathology*
  • Phenotype
  • Progeria / metabolism
  • Progeria / pathology*
  • Syndrome
  • Transfection


  • Lamin Type A