Primary laminopathy fibroblasts display altered genome organization and apoptosis

Aging Cell. 2007 Apr;6(2):139-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1474-9726.2007.00270.x. Epub 2007 Feb 5.


A number of diseases associated with specific tissue degeneration and premature aging have mutations in the nuclear envelope proteins A-type lamins or emerin. Those diseases with A-type lamin mutation are inclusively termed laminopathies. Due to various hypothetical roles of nuclear envelope proteins in genome function we investigated whether alterations to normal genomic behaviour are apparent in cells with mutations in A-type lamins and emerin. Even though the distributions of these proteins in proliferating laminopathy fibroblasts appear normal, there is abnormal nuclear positioning of both chromosome 18 and 13 territories, from the nuclear periphery to the interior. This genomic organization mimics that found in normal nonproliferating quiescent or senescent cells. This finding is supported by distributions of modified pRb in the laminopathy cells. All laminopathy cell lines tested and an X-linked Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy cell line also demonstrate increased incidences of apoptosis. The most extreme cases of apoptosis occur in cells derived from diseases with mutations in the tail region of the LMNA gene, such as Dunningan-type familial partial lipodystrophy and mandibuloacral dysplasia, and this correlates with a significant level of micronucleation in these cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging, Premature / genetics*
  • Aging, Premature / pathology
  • Apoptosis*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Fibroblasts / ultrastructure*
  • Genome, Human*
  • Humans
  • Lamin Type A / genetics*
  • Lipodystrophy, Familial Partial / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Emery-Dreifuss / genetics
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Emery-Dreifuss / pathology
  • Nuclear Envelope / ultrastructure
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics*


  • Lamin Type A
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • emerin