Nuclear envelope defects cause stem cell dysfunction in premature-aging mice

J Cell Biol. 2008 Apr 7;181(1):27-35. doi: 10.1083/jcb.200801096. Epub 2008 Mar 31.


Nuclear lamina alterations occur in physiological aging and in premature aging syndromes. Because aging is also associated with abnormal stem cell homeostasis, we hypothesize that nuclear envelope alterations could have an important impact on stem cell compartments. To evaluate this hypothesis, we examined the number and functional competence of stem cells in Zmpste24-null progeroid mice, which exhibit nuclear lamina defects. We show that Zmpste24 deficiency causes an alteration in the number and proliferative capacity of epidermal stem cells. These changes are associated with an aberrant nuclear architecture of bulge cells and an increase in apoptosis of their supporting cells in the hair bulb region. These alterations are rescued in Zmpste24(-/-)Lmna(+/-) mutant mice, which do not manifest progeroid symptoms. We also report that molecular signaling pathways implicated in the regulation of stem cell behavior, such as Wnt and microphthalmia transcription factor, are altered in Zmpste24(-/-) mice. These findings establish a link between age-related nuclear envelope defects and stem cell dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging, Premature / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Hair Follicle / cytology
  • Keratinocytes / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Metalloendopeptidases / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mutation
  • Nuclear Envelope / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Wnt Proteins / metabolism


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Metalloendopeptidases
  • Zmpste24 protein, mouse