Objectives: To determine the importance of lamin A/C for fat cell differentiation in vitro and for the anti-adipogenic activity of HIV protease inhibitors such as indinavir.
Methods: Lipodystrophy-associated and processing-defective mutants of lamin A were stably expressed at high levels in 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes. Additionally, 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes with stable reduction of lamin A/C or emerin were derived. The cells were differentiated for 8 days into mature adipocytes in the presence or absence of indinavir or nelfinavir.
Results: 3T3-L1 cells stably expressing high levels of lipodystrophy-associated or processing-defective mutants of lamin A differentiated with comparable efficiencies to control cells. Similarly, cells with dramatically reduced lamin A levels differentiated as efficiently as controls. Although indinavir stimulated the accumulation of unprocessed lamin A, cells with dramatically reduced lamin A/C levels and no detectable prelamin A remained responsive to an indinavir-induced inhibition of adipogenesis.
Conclusions: The ability of HIV protease inhibitor to stimulate the accumulation of unprocessed lamin A is neither necessary nor sufficient to explain their anti-adipogenic activity. Furthermore, lamin A/C plays a minimal role in the differentiation of 3T3-L1.