Mechanisms controlling the smooth muscle cell death in progeria via down-regulation of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jun 3;111(22):E2261-70. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1320843111. Epub 2014 May 19.


Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is a severe human premature aging disorder caused by a lamin A mutant named progerin. Death occurs at a mean age of 13 y from cardiovascular problems. Previous studies revealed loss of vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) in the media of large arteries in a patient with HGPS and two mouse models, suggesting a causal connection between the SMC loss and cardiovascular malfunction. However, the mechanisms of how progerin leads to massive SMC loss are unknown. In this study, using SMCs differentiated from HGPS induced pluripotent stem cells, we show that HGPS SMCs exhibit a profound proliferative defect, which is primarily caused by caspase-independent cell death. Importantly, progerin accumulation stimulates a powerful suppression of PARP1 and consequently triggers an activation of the error-prone nonhomologous end joining response. As a result, most HGPS SMCs exhibit prolonged mitosis and die of mitotic catastrophe. This study demonstrates a critical role of PARP1 in mediating SMC loss in patients with HGPS and elucidates a molecular pathway underlying the progressive SMC loss in progeria.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Cell Death / physiology*
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Survival / physiology
  • Down-Regulation / physiology
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • G2 Phase / physiology
  • Humans
  • Myocytes, Smooth Muscle / metabolism
  • Myocytes, Smooth Muscle / pathology*
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology
  • Poly (ADP-Ribose) Polymerase-1
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases / metabolism*
  • Primary Cell Culture
  • Progeria / metabolism
  • Progeria / pathology*
  • S Phase / physiology
  • Skin / cytology


  • PARP1 protein, human
  • Poly (ADP-Ribose) Polymerase-1
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases