Microcephalia with mandibular and dental dysplasia in adult Zmpste24-deficient mice

J Anat. 2008 Nov;213(5):509-19. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7580.2008.00970.x.


ZMPSTE24 (also called FACE-1) is a zinc-metalloprotease involved in the post-translational processing of prelamin A to mature lamin A, a major component of the nuclear envelope. Mutations in the ZMPSTE24 gene or in that encoding its substrate prelamin A (LMNA) result in a series of human inherited diseases known collectively as laminopathies and showing regional or systemic manifestations (i.e. the Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome). Typically, patients suffering some laminopathies show craniofacial or mandible anomalies, aberrant dentition or facial features characteristic of aged persons. To analyse whether Zmpste24(-/-) mice reproduce the cranial phenotype observed in humans due to mutations in ZMPSTE24 or LMNA, we conducted a craniometric study based on micro-computer tomography (microCT) images. Furthermore, using simple radiology, microCT, microCT-densitometry and scanning electron microscopy, we analysed the mandible and the teeth from Zmpste24(-/-) mice. Finally, the structure of the lower incisor was investigated using an H&E technique. The results demonstrate that Zmpste24(-/-) mice are microcephalic and show mandibular and dental dysplasia affecting only the mandible teeth. In all cases, the lower incisor of mice lacking Zmpste24 was smaller than in control animals, showed cylindrical morphology and a transverse fissure at the incisal edge, and the pulpal cavity was severely reduced. Structurally, the dental layers were normally arranged but cellular layers were disorganized. The inferior molars showed a reduced cusp size. Taken together, these data strongly suggest that Zmpste24(-/-) mice represent a good model to analyse the craniofacial and teeth malformations characteristic of lamin-related pathologies, and might contribute to a better understanding of the molecular events underlying these diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cephalometry
  • Incisor
  • Lamin Type A
  • Male
  • Mandible / abnormalities*
  • Mandible / diagnostic imaging
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Metalloendopeptidases / genetics*
  • Metalloendopeptidases / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Mutation
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Protein Precursors / genetics
  • Protein Precursors / metabolism
  • Skull / abnormalities*
  • Skull / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Tooth Abnormalities* / diagnostic imaging


  • Lamin Type A
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Protein Precursors
  • prelamin A
  • Metalloendopeptidases
  • Zmpste24 protein, mouse