Peroxisomes are small, membrane-enclosed eukaryotic organelles that house various enzymes with metabolic functions. One important feature in both Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS) and normal aging is the elevated levels of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), which are generated from metabolic pathways with the capacity to cause oxidative damage to macromolecules within the cells. Although peroxisomal bioreactions can generate free radicals as their byproducts, many metabolic enzymes within the peroxisomes play critical roles as ROS scavengers, in particular, catalase. Here, we observed impaired peroxisomes-targeting protein trafficking, which suggested that the poorly assembled peroxisomes might cause high oxidative stress, contributing to the premature senescent phenotype in HGPS. We then investigated the ROS clearance efficiency by peroxisomal enzymes and found a significantly decreased expression of catalase in HGPS. Furthermore, we evaluated the effects of two promising HGPS-treatment drugs Methylene Blue and RAD001 (Everolimus, a rapamycin analog) on catalase in HGPS fibroblasts. We found that both drugs effectively reduced cellular ROS levels. MB, as a well-known antioxidant, did not affect catalase expression or activity. Interestingly, RAD001 treatment significantly upregulated catalase activity in HGPS cells. Our study presents the first characterization of peroxisomal function in HGPS and provides new insights into the cellular aspects of HGPS and the ongoing clinical trial.
Keywords: ROS; catalase; peroxisome; progeria; rapamycin.