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Dermatology - Diabetes and Endocrinology - Rheumatology

Discordant Gene Expression Signatures and Related Phenotypic Differences in Lamin A- and A/C-Related Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS)
Published: Monday, June 27, 2011
Author: Martina Plasilova et al.

by Martina Plasilova, Chandon Chattopadhyay, Apurba Ghosh, Friedel Wenzel, Philippe Demougin, Christoph Noppen, Nathalie Schaub, Gabor Szinnai, Luigi Terracciano, Karl Heinimann

Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is a genetic disorder displaying features reminiscent of premature senescence caused by germline mutations in the LMNA gene encoding lamin A and C, essential components of the nuclear lamina. By studying a family with homozygous LMNA mutation (K542N), we showed that HGPS can also be caused by mutations affecting both isoforms, lamin A and C. Here, we aimed to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis in both, lamin A- (sporadic) and lamin A and C-related (hereditary) HGPS. For this, we performed detailed molecular studies on primary fibroblasts of hetero- and homozygous LMNA K542N mutation carriers, accompanied with clinical examinations related to the molecular findings. By assessing global gene expression we found substantial overlap in altered transcription profiles (13.7%; 90/657) in sporadic and hereditary HGPS, with 83.3% (75/90) concordant and 16.7% (15/90) discordant transcriptional changes. Among the concordant ones we observed down-regulation of TWIST2, whose inactivation in mice and humans leads to loss of subcutaneous fat and dermal appendages, and loss of expression in dermal fibroblasts and periadnexial cells from a LMNAK542N/K542N patient further confirming its pivotal role in skin development. Among the discordant transcriptional profiles we identified two key mediators of vascular calcification and bone metabolism, ENPP1 and OPG, which offer a molecular explanation for the major phenotypic differences in vascular and bone disease in sporadic and hereditary HGPS. Finally, this study correlates reduced TWIST2 and OPG expression with increased osteocalcin levels, thereby linking altered bone remodeling to energy homeostasis in hereditary HGPS.