Targeting RAS-converting enzyme 1 overcomes senescence and improves progeria-like phenotypes of ZMPSTE24 deficiency

Aging Cell. 2020 Aug;19(8):e13200. doi: 10.1111/acel.13200. Epub 2020 Jul 24.


Several progeroid disorders are caused by deficiency in the endoprotease ZMPSTE24 which leads to accumulation of prelamin A at the nuclear envelope. ZMPSTE24 cleaves prelamin A twice: at the third carboxyl-terminal amino acid following farnesylation of a -CSIM motif; and 15 residues upstream to produce mature lamin A. The carboxyl-terminal cleavage can also be performed by RAS-converting enzyme 1 (RCE1) but little is known about the importance of this cleavage for the ability of prelamin A to cause disease. Here, we found that knockout of RCE1 delayed senescence and increased proliferation of ZMPSTE24-deficient fibroblasts from a patient with non-classical Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS), but did not influence proliferation of classical LMNA-mutant HGPS cells. Knockout of Rce1 in Zmpste24-deficient mice at postnatal week 4-5 increased body weight and doubled the median survival time. The absence of Rce1 in Zmpste24-deficient fibroblasts did not influence nuclear shape but reduced an interaction between prelamin A and AKT which activated AKT-mTOR signaling and was required for the increased proliferation. Prelamin A levels increased in Rce1-deficient cells due to a slower turnover rate but its localization at the nuclear rim was unaffected. These results strengthen the idea that the presence of misshapen nuclei does not prevent phenotype improvement and suggest that targeting RCE1 might be useful for treating the rare progeroid disorders associated with ZMPSTE24 deficiency.

Keywords: RCE1; ZMPSTE24; mouse models; prelamin A; progeria.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Genes, ras / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / deficiency*
  • Metalloendopeptidases / deficiency*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Phenotype
  • Progeria / genetics*


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Metalloendopeptidases
  • Zmpste24 protein, mouse