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1.  Reciprocal knock-in mice to investigate the functional redundancy of lamin B1 and lamin B2 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2014;25(10):1666-1675.
To assess the redundancy of lamins B1 and B2, knock-in lines were created that produce lamin B2 from the Lmnb1 locus and lamin B1 from the Lmnb2 locus. Both lines developed severe neurodevelopmental abnormalities, indicating that the abnormalities elicited by the loss of one B-type lamin cannot be prevented by increased synthesis of the other.
Lamins B1 and B2 (B-type lamins) have very similar sequences and are expressed ubiquitously. In addition, both Lmnb1- and Lmnb2-deficient mice die soon after birth with neuronal layering abnormalities in the cerebral cortex, a consequence of defective neuronal migration. The similarities in amino acid sequences, expression patterns, and knockout phenotypes raise the question of whether the two proteins have redundant functions. To investigate this topic, we generated “reciprocal knock-in mice”—mice that make lamin B2 from the Lmnb1 locus (Lmnb1B2/B2) and mice that make lamin B1 from the Lmnb2 locus (Lmnb2B1/B1). Lmnb1B2/B2 mice produced increased amounts of lamin B2 but no lamin B1; they died soon after birth with neuronal layering abnormalities in the cerebral cortex. However, the defects in Lmnb1B2/B2 mice were less severe than those in Lmnb1-knockout mice, indicating that increased amounts of lamin B2 partially ameliorate the abnormalities associated with lamin B1 deficiency. Similarly, increased amounts of lamin B1 in Lmnb2B1/B1 mice did not prevent the neurodevelopmental defects elicited by lamin B2 deficiency. We conclude that lamins B1 and B2 have unique roles in the developing brain and that increased production of one B-type lamin does not fully complement loss of the other.
doi:10.1091/mbc.E14-01-0683
PMCID: PMC4019497  PMID: 24672053
2.  Are B-type lamins essential in all mammalian cells? 
Nucleus  2011;2(6):562-569.
The B-type lamins are widely assumed to be essential for mammalian cells. In part, this assumption is based on a highly cited study that found that RNAi-mediated knockdown of lamin B1 or lamin B2 in HeLa cells arrested cell growth and led to apoptosis. Studies indicating that B-type lamins play roles in DNA replication, the formation of the mitotic spindle, chromatin organization and regulation of gene expression have fueled the notion that B-type lamins must be essential. But surprisingly, this idea had never been tested with genetic approaches. Earlier this year, a research group from UCLA reported the development of genetically modified mice that lack expression of both Lmnb1 and Lmnb2 in skin keratinocytes (a cell type that proliferates rapidly and participates in complex developmental programs). They reasoned that if lamins B1 and B2 were truly essential, then keratinocyte-specific lamin B1/lamin B2 knockout mice would exhibit severe pathology. Contrary to expectations, the skin and hair of lamin B1/lamin B2-deficient mice were quite normal, indicating that the B-type lamins are dispensable in some cell types. The same UCLA research group has gone on to show that lamin B1 and lamin B2 are critical for neuronal migration in the developing brain and for neuronal survival.  The absence of either lamin B1 or lamin B2, or the absence of both B-type lamins, results in severe neurodevelopmental abnormalities.
doi:10.4161/nucl.2.6.18085
PMCID: PMC3324344  PMID: 22127257
lamin B1; lamin B2; nuclear envelope; nuclear lamina
3.  An absence of both lamin B1 and lamin B2 in keratinocytes has no effect on cell proliferation or the development of skin and hair 
Human Molecular Genetics  2011;20(18):3537-3544.
Nuclear lamins are usually classified as A-type (lamins A and C) or B-type (lamins B1 and B2). A-type lamins have been implicated in multiple genetic diseases but are not required for cell growth or development. In contrast, B-type lamins have been considered essential in eukaryotic cells, with crucial roles in DNA replication and in the formation of the mitotic spindle. Knocking down the genes for B-type lamins (LMNB1, LMNB2) in HeLa cells has been reported to cause apoptosis. In the current study, we created conditional knockout alleles for mouse Lmnb1 and Lmnb2, with the goal of testing the hypothesis that B-type lamins are crucial for the growth and viability of mammalian cells in vivo. Using the keratin 14-Cre transgene, we bred mice lacking the expression of both Lmnb1 and Lmnb2 in skin keratinocytes (Lmnb1Δ/ΔLmnb2Δ/Δ). Lmnb1 and Lmnb2 transcripts were absent in keratinocytes of Lmnb1Δ/ΔLmnb2Δ/Δ mice, and lamin B1 and lamin B2 proteins were undetectable. But despite an absence of B-type lamins in keratinocytes, the skin and hair of Lmnb1Δ/ΔLmnb2Δ/Δ mice developed normally and were free of histological abnormalities, even in 2-year-old mice. After an intraperitoneal injection of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), similar numbers of BrdU-positive keratinocytes were observed in the skin of wild-type and Lmnb1Δ/ΔLmnb2Δ/Δ mice. Lmnb1Δ/ΔLmnb2Δ/Δ keratinocytes did not exhibit aneuploidy, and their growth rate was normal in culture. These studies challenge the concept that B-type lamins are essential for proliferation and vitality of eukaryotic cells.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddr266
PMCID: PMC3159554  PMID: 21659336
4.  Lamin B1 protein is required for dendrite development in primary mouse cortical neurons 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2016;27(1):35-47.
Lamin B1 depletion has detrimental effects on brain development. Lamin B1 loss of function affects neuronal development in primary mouse cortical neurons, strongly impairing dendrite length and complexity. This defective dendrite development stems from impaired nuclear ERK signaling and, possibly, mislocalization of nuclear pores.
Lamin B1, a key component of the nuclear lamina, plays an important role in brain development and function. A duplication of the human lamin B1 (LMNB1) gene has been linked to adult-onset autosomal dominant leukodystrophy, and mouse and human loss-of-function mutations in lamin B1 are susceptibility factors for neural tube defects. In the mouse, experimental ablation of endogenous lamin B1 (Lmnb1) severely impairs embryonic corticogenesis. Here we report that in primary mouse cortical neurons, LMNB1 overexpression reduces axonal outgrowth, whereas deficiency of endogenous Lmnb1 results in aberrant dendritic development. In the absence of Lmnb1, both the length and complexity of dendrites are reduced, and their growth is unresponsive to KCl stimulation. This defective dendritic outgrowth stems from impaired ERK signaling. In Lmnb1-null neurons, ERK is correctly phosphorylated, but phospho-ERK fails to translocate to the nucleus, possibly due to delocalization of nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) at the nuclear envelope. Taken together, these data highlight a previously unrecognized role of lamin B1 in dendrite development of mouse cortical neurons through regulation of nuclear shuttling of specific signaling molecules and NPC distribution.
doi:10.1091/mbc.E15-05-0307
PMCID: PMC4694760  PMID: 26510501
5.  Do lamin B1 and lamin B2 have redundant functions? 
Nucleus  2014;5(4):287-292.
Lamins B1 and B2 have a high degree of sequence similarity and are widely expressed from the earliest stages of development. Studies of Lmnb1 and Lmnb2 knockout mice revealed that both of the B-type lamins are crucial for neuronal migration in the developing brain. These observations naturally posed the question of whether the two B-type lamins might play redundant functions in the development of the brain. To explore that issue, Lee and coworkers generated “reciprocal knock-in mice” (knock-in mice that produce lamin B1 from the Lmnb2 locus and knock-in mice that produce lamin B2 from the Lmnb1 locus). Both lines of knock-in mice manifested neurodevelopmental abnormalities similar to those in conventional knockout mice, indicating that lamins B1 and B2 have unique functions and that increased production of one B-type lamin cannot compensate for the loss of the other.
doi:10.4161/nucl.29615
PMCID: PMC4152341  PMID: 25482116
lamin B1; lamin B2; nuclear envelope; nuclear lamina
6.  LINCing lamin B2 to neuronal migration: growing evidence for cell-specific roles of B-type lamins 
Nucleus (Austin, Tex.)  2010;1(5):407-411.
Nuclear lamins are major components of the nuclear lamina, and play essential roles in supporting the nucleus and organizing nuclear structures. While a large number of clinically important mutations have been mapped to the LMNA gene in humans, very few mutations have been associated with the B-type lamins. We have shown that lamin B2–deficiency in mice results in severe brain abnormalities. While the early stages of forebrain development in lamin B2–deficient mice appear to be normal, cortical neurons fail to migrate and organize into proper layers within the cerebral cortex. The morphogenesis of the hippocampus and cerebellum is also severely impaired. These phenotypes are reminiscent of lissencephaly, a human brain developmental disorder characterized by an abnormal neuronal migration. Most mutations in lissencephaly patients affect cytoplasmic regulators of nuclear translocation, which is a crucial step in neuronal migration. The phenotypes of lamin B2–deficient mice suggest that lamin B2 may also play a key role in nuclear translocation. Potential mechanisms for lamin B2 involvement, which include mechanical and non-mechanical roles, and participation in LINC complexes in the nuclear envelope, are discussed along with evidence that lamins B1 and B2 play distinct, cell-specific functions.
doi:10.4161/nucl.1.5.12830
PMCID: PMC3027074  PMID: 21278813
nuclear envelope; nuclear lamina; lamin B2; LINC complex; nesprin; SUN; lissencephaly; neuronal migration; cortical neurons; nuclear translocation
7.  LINCing lamin B2 to neuronal migration 
Nucleus  2010;1(5):407-411.
Nuclear lamins are major components of the nuclear lamina, and play essential roles in supporting the nucleus and organizing nuclear structures. While a large number of clinically important mutations have been mapped to the LMNA gene in humans, very few mutations have been associated with the B-type lamins. We have shown that lamin B2-deficiency in mice results in severe brain abnormalities. While the early stages of forebrain development in lamin B2-deficient mice appear to be normal, cortical neurons fail to migrate and organize into proper layers within the cerebral cortex. The morphogenesis of the hippocampus and cerebellum is also severely impaired. These phenotypes are reminiscent of lissencephaly, a human brain developmental disorder characterized by an abnormal neuronal migration. Most mutations in lissencephaly patients affect cytoplasmic regulators of nuclear translocation, which is a crucial step in neuronal migration. The phenotypes of lamin B2-deficient mice suggest that lamin B2 may also play a key role in nuclear translocation. Potential mechanisms for lamin B2 involvement, which include mechanical and non-mechanical roles and participation in LINC complexes in the nuclear envelope, are discussed along with evidence that lamins B1 and B2 play distinct, cell-specific functions.
doi:10.4161/nucl.1.5.12830
PMCID: PMC3027074  PMID: 21278813
nuclear envelope; nuclear lamina; lamin B2; LINC complex; nesprin; SUN; lissencephaly; neuronal migration; cortical neurons; nuclear translocation
8.  B-type lamins in health and disease☆ 
Highlights
•The role of B-type lamins in cellular organisation and function.•The role of B-type lamins in chromatin organisation.•The role of lamin B1 in cellular senescence.•The role of B-type lamins in organogenesis and tissue building.
For over two decades, B-type lamins were thought to have roles in fundamental processes including correct assembly of nuclear envelopes, DNA replication, transcription and cell survival. Recent studies have questioned these roles and have instead emphasised the role of these proteins in tissue building and tissue integrity, particularly in tissues devoid of A-type lamins. Other studies have suggested that the expression of B-type lamins in somatic cells influences the rate of entry into states of cellular senescence. In humans duplication of the LMNB1 gene (encoding lamin B1) causes an adult onset neurodegenerative disorder, termed autosomal dominant leukodystrophy, whilst very recently, LMNB1 has been implicated as a susceptibility gene in neural tube defects. This is consistent with studies in mice that reveal a critical role for B-type lamins in neuronal migration and brain development. In this review, I will consider how different model systems have contributed to our understanding of the functions of B-type lamins and which of those functions are critical for human health and disease.
doi:10.1016/j.semcdb.2013.12.012
PMCID: PMC4053831  PMID: 24380701
Lamin B1; Cellular senescence; Brain development; Autosomal dominant leukodystrophy
9.  Nuclear lamins in the brain—new insights into function and regulation 
Molecular neurobiology  2012;47(1):290-301.
The nuclear lamina is an intermediate filament meshwork composed largely of four nuclear lamins—lamins A and C (A-type lamins) and lamins B1 and B2 (B-type lamins). Located immediately adjacent to the inner nuclear membrane, the nuclear lamina provides a structural scaffolding for the cell nucleus. It also interacts with both nuclear membrane proteins and the chromatin and is thought to participate in many important functions within the cell nucleus. Defects in A-type lamins cause cardiomyopathy, muscular dystrophy, peripheral neuropathy, lipodystrophy, and progeroid disorders. In contrast, the only bona fide link between the B-type lamins and human disease is a rare demyelinating disease of the central nervous system—adult-onset autosomal-dominant leukoencephalopathy, caused by a duplication of the gene for lamin B1. However, this leukoencephalopathy is not the only association between the brain and B-type nuclear lamins. Studies of conventional and tissue-specific knockout mice have demonstrated that B-type lamins play essential roles in neuronal migration in the developing brain and in neuronal survival. The importance of A-type lamin expression in the brain is unclear, but it is intriguing that the adult brain preferentially expresses lamin C rather than lamin A, very likely due to microRNA-mediated removal of prelamin A transcripts. Here, we review recent studies on nuclear lamins, focusing on the function and regulation of the nuclear lamins in the central nervous system.
doi:10.1007/s12035-012-8350-1
PMCID: PMC3538886  PMID: 23065386
Nuclear lamina; brain development; A-type lamins; B-type lamins; differential gene expression
10.  Nuclear Lamins and Neurobiology 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2014;34(15):2776-2785.
Much of the work on nuclear lamins during the past 15 years has focused on mutations in LMNA (the gene for prelamin A and lamin C) that cause particular muscular dystrophy, cardiomyopathy, partial lipodystrophy, and progeroid syndromes. These disorders, often called “laminopathies,” mainly affect mesenchymal tissues (e.g., striated muscle, bone, and fibrous tissue). Recently, however, a series of papers have identified important roles for nuclear lamins in the central nervous system. Studies of knockout mice uncovered a key role for B-type lamins (lamins B1 and B2) in neuronal migration in the developing brain. Also, duplications of LMNB1 (the gene for lamin B1) have been shown to cause autosome-dominant leukodystrophy. Finally, recent studies have uncovered a peculiar pattern of nuclear lamin expression in the brain. Lamin C transcripts are present at high levels in the brain, but prelamin A expression levels are very low—due to regulation of prelamin A transcripts by microRNA 9. This form of prelamin A regulation likely explains why “prelamin A diseases” such as Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome spare the central nervous system. In this review, we summarize recent progress in elucidating links between nuclear lamins and neurobiology.
doi:10.1128/MCB.00486-14
PMCID: PMC4135577  PMID: 24842906
11.  Prelamin A and lamin A appear to be dispensable in the nuclear lamina 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2006;116(3):743-752.
Lamin A and lamin C, both products of Lmna, are key components of the nuclear lamina. In the mouse, a deficiency in both lamin A and lamin C leads to slow growth, muscle weakness, and death by 6 weeks of age. Fibroblasts deficient in lamins A and C contain misshapen and structurally weakened nuclei, and emerin is mislocalized away from the nuclear envelope. The physiologic rationale for the existence of the 2 different Lmna products lamin A and lamin C is unclear, although several reports have suggested that lamin A may have particularly important functions, for example in the targeting of emerin and lamin C to the nuclear envelope. Here we report the development of lamin C–only mice (Lmna+/+), which produce lamin C but no lamin A or prelamin A (the precursor to lamin A). Lmna+/+ mice were entirely healthy, and Lmna+/+ cells displayed normal emerin targeting and exhibited only very minimal alterations in nuclear shape and nuclear deformability. Thus, at least in the mouse, prelamin A and lamin A appear to be dispensable. Nevertheless, an accumulation of farnesyl–prelamin A (as occurs with a deficiency in the prelamin A processing enzyme Zmpste24) caused dramatically misshapen nuclei and progeria-like disease phenotypes. The apparent dispensability of prelamin A suggested that lamin A–related progeroid syndromes might be treated with impunity by reducing prelamin A synthesis. Remarkably, the presence of a single LmnaLCO allele eliminated the nuclear shape abnormalities and progeria-like disease phenotypes in Zmpste24–/– mice. Moreover, treating Zmpste24–/– cells with a prelamin A–specific antisense oligonucleotide reduced prelamin A levels and significantly reduced the frequency of misshapen nuclei. These studies suggest a new therapeutic strategy for treating progeria and other lamin A diseases.
doi:10.1172/JCI27125
PMCID: PMC1386109  PMID: 16511604
12.  Effects of Lamin A/C, Lamin B1, and Viral US3 Kinase Activity on Viral Infectivity, Virion Egress, and the Targeting of Herpes Simplex Virus UL34-Encoded Protein to the Inner Nuclear Membrane ▿  
Journal of Virology  2008;82(16):8094-8104.
Previous results indicated that the UL34 protein (pUL34) of herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) is targeted to the nuclear membrane and is essential for nuclear egress of nucleocapsids. The normal localization of pUL34 and virions requires the US3-encoded kinase that phosphorylates UL34 and lamin A/C. Moreover, pUL34 was shown to interact with lamin A in vitro. In the present study, glutathione S-transferase/pUL34 was shown to specifically pull down lamin A and lamin B1 from cellular lysates. To determine the role of these interactions on viral infectivity and pUL34 targeting to the inner nuclear membrane (INM), the localization of pUL34 was determined in LmnA−/− and LmnB1−/− mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) by indirect immunofluorescence and immunogold electron microscopy in the presence or absence of US3 kinase activity. While pUL34 INM targeting was not affected by the absence of lamin B1 in MEFs infected with wild-type HSV as viewed by indirect immunofluorescence, it localized in densely staining scalloped-shaped distortions of the nuclear membrane in lamin B1 knockout cells infected with a US3 kinase-dead virus. Lamin B1 knockout cells were relatively less permissive for viral replication than wild-type MEFs, with viral titers decreased at least 10-fold. The absence of lamin A (i) caused clustering of pUL34 in the nuclear rim of cells infected with wild-type virus, (ii) produced extensions of the INM bearing pUL34 protein in cells infected with a US3 kinase-dead mutant, (iii) precluded accumulation of virions in the perinuclear space of cells infected with this mutant, and (iv) partially restored replication of this virus. The latter observation suggests that lamin A normally impedes viral infectivity and that US3 kinase activity partially alleviates this impediment. On the other hand, lamin B1 is necessary for optimal viral replication, probably through its well-documented effects on many cellular pathways. Finally, neither lamin A nor B1 was absolutely required for targeting pUL34 to the INM, suggesting that this targeting is mediated by redundant functions or can be mediated by other proteins.
doi:10.1128/JVI.00874-08
PMCID: PMC2519571  PMID: 18524819
13.  Regulation of Myelination in the Central Nervous System by Nuclear Lamin B1 and Non-coding RNAs 
Adult-onset autosomal dominant leukodystrophy (ADLD) is a progressive and fatal hereditary demyelination disorder characterized initially by autonomic dysfunction and loss of myelin in the central nervous system (CNS). Majority of ADLD is caused by a genomic duplication of the nuclear lamin B1 gene (LMNB1) encoding lamin B1 protein, resulting in increased gene dosage in brain tissue. In vitro, excessive lamin B1 at the cellular level reduces transcription of myelin genes, leading to premature arrest of oligodendrocyte differentiation. Murine models of ADLD overexpressing LMNB1 exhibited age-dependent motor deficits and myelin defects, which are associated with reduced occupancy of the Yin Yang 1 transcription factor at the promoter region of the proteolipid protein gene. Lamin B1 overexpression mediates oligodendrocyte cell-autonomous neuropathology in ADLD and suggests lamin B1 as an important regulator of myelin formation and maintenance during aging. Identification of microRNA-23 (miR-23) as a negative regulator of lamin B1 can ameliorate the consequences of excessive lamin B1 at the cellular level. miR-23a-overexpressing mice display enhanced oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelin synthesis. miR-23a targets include a protein coding transcript PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog on chromosome 10), and a long noncoding RNA (2700046G09Rik), indicating a unique role for miR-23a in the coordination of proteins and noncoding RNAs in generating and maintaining healthy myelin. Here, we provide a concise review of the current literature on clinical presentations of ADLD and how lamin B1 affects myelination and other developmental processes. Moreover, we address the emerging role of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) in modulating gene networks, specifically investigating miR-23 as a potential target for the treatment of ADLD and other demyelinating disorders.
doi:10.1186/2047-9158-3-4
PMCID: PMC3937061  PMID: 24495672
Lamin; Long non-coding RNA; MicroRNA; Myelin
14.  A large genomic deletion leads to enhancer adoption by the lamin B1 gene: a second path to autosomal dominant adult-onset demyelinating leukodystrophy (ADLD) 
Human Molecular Genetics  2015;24(11):3143-3154.
Chromosomal rearrangements with duplication of the lamin B1 (LMNB1) gene underlie autosomal dominant adult-onset demyelinating leukodystrophy (ADLD), a rare neurological disorder in which overexpression of LMNB1 causes progressive central nervous system demyelination. However, we previously reported an ADLD family (ADLD-1-TO) without evidence of duplication or other mutation in LMNB1 despite linkage to the LMNB1 locus and lamin B1 overexpression. By custom array-CGH, we further investigated this family and report here that patients carry a large (∼660 kb) heterozygous deletion that begins 66 kb upstream of the LMNB1 promoter. Lamin B1 overexpression was confirmed in further ADLD-1-TO tissues and in a postmortem brain sample, where lamin B1 was increased in the frontal lobe. Through parallel studies, we investigated both loss of genetic material and chromosomal rearrangement as possible causes of LMNB1 overexpression, and found that ADLD-1-TO plausibly results from an enhancer adoption mechanism. The deletion eliminates a genome topological domain boundary, allowing normally forbidden interactions between at least three forebrain-directed enhancers and the LMNB1 promoter, in line with the observed mainly cerebral localization of lamin B1 overexpression and myelin degeneration. This second route to LMNB1 overexpression and ADLD is a new example of the relevance of regulatory landscape modifications in determining Mendelian phenotypes.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddv065
PMCID: PMC4424952  PMID: 25701871
15.  Messenger RNA processing is altered in autosomal dominant leukodystrophy† 
Human Molecular Genetics  2015;24(10):2746-2756.
Adult-onset autosomal dominant leukodystrophy (ADLD) is a slowly progressive neurological disorder characterized by autonomic dysfunction, followed by cerebellar and pyramidal features. ADLD is caused by duplication of the lamin B1 gene (LMNB1), which leads to its increased expression. The molecular pathways involved in the disease are still poorly understood. Hence, we analyzed global gene expression in fibroblasts and whole blood of LMNB1 duplication carriers and used Gene Set Enrichment Analysis to explore their gene signatures. We found that LMNB1 duplication is associated with dysregulation of genes involved in the immune system, neuronal and skeletal development. Genes with an altered transcriptional profile clustered in specific genomic regions. Among the dysregulated genes, we further studied the role of RAVER2, which we found to be overexpressed at mRNA and protein level. RAVER2 encodes a putative trans regulator of the splicing repressor polypyrimidine tract binding protein (PTB) and is likely implicated in alternative splicing regulation. Functional studies demonstrated an abnormal splicing pattern of several PTB-target genes and of the myelin protein gene PLP1, previously demonstrated to be involved in ADLD. Mutant mice with different lamin B1 expression levels confirmed that Raver2 expression is dependent on lamin B1 in neural tissue and determines an altered splicing pattern of PTB-target genes and Plp1. Overall our results demonstrate that deregulation of lamin B1 expression induces modified splicing of several genes, likely driven by raver-2 overexpression, and suggest that an alteration of mRNA processing could be a pathogenic mechanism in ADLD.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddv034
PMCID: PMC4406291  PMID: 25637521
16.  Lamin B1 and lamin B2 are long-lived proteins with distinct functions in retinal development 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2016;27(12):1928-1937.
During retinogenesis, lamin B1 is critical to maintaining the nuclear integrity of embryonic retinal neurons, whereas lamin B2 is not. The latter is required for postnatal retinal lamination and synaptogenesis. In adult photoreceptors, lamin B1 and lamin B2 have very long half-lives but are dispensable for cone photoreceptor survival and function.
Lamin B1 and lamin B2 are essential building blocks of the nuclear lamina, a filamentous meshwork lining the nucleoplasmic side of the inner nuclear membrane. Deficiencies in lamin B1 and lamin B2 impair neurodevelopment, but distinct functions for the two proteins in the development and homeostasis of the CNS have been elusive. Here we show that embryonic depletion of lamin B1 in retinal progenitors and postmitotic neurons affects nuclear integrity, leads to the collapse of the laminB2 meshwork, impairs neuronal survival, and markedly reduces the cellularity of adult retinas. In stark contrast, a deficiency of lamin B2 in the embryonic retina has no obvious effect on lamin B1 localization or nuclear integrity in embryonic retinas, suggesting that lamin B1, but not lamin B2, is strictly required for nucleokinesis during embryonic neurogenesis. However, the absence of lamin B2 prevents proper lamination of adult retinal neurons, impairs synaptogenesis, and reduces cone photoreceptor survival. We also show that lamin B1 and lamin B2 are extremely long-lived proteins in rod and cone photoreceptors. OF interest, a complete absence of both proteins during postnatal life has little or no effect on the survival and function of cone photoreceptors.
doi:10.1091/mbc.E16-03-0143
PMCID: PMC4907726  PMID: 27075175
17.  Physiological and Pathological Aging Affects Chromatin Dynamics, Structure and Function at the Nuclear Edge 
Frontiers in Genetics  2016;7:153.
Lamins are intermediate filaments that form a complex meshwork at the inner nuclear membrane. Mammalian cells express two types of Lamins, Lamins A/C and Lamins B, encoded by three different genes, LMNA, LMNB1, and LMNB2. Mutations in the LMNA gene are associated with a group of phenotypically diverse diseases referred to as laminopathies. Lamins interact with a large number of binding partners including proteins of the nuclear envelope but also chromatin-associated factors. Lamins not only constitute a scaffold for nuclear shape, rigidity and resistance to stress but also contribute to the organization of chromatin and chromosomal domains. We will discuss here the impact of A-type Lamins loss on alterations of chromatin organization and formation of chromatin domains and how disorganization of the lamina contributes to the patho-physiology of premature aging syndromes.
doi:10.3389/fgene.2016.00153
PMCID: PMC4993774  PMID: 27602048
Lamins; premature aging; nuclear topology; epigenetics; telomeres
18.  Defects of Lipid Synthesis Are Linked to the Age-Dependent Demyelination Caused by Lamin B1 Overexpression 
The Journal of Neuroscience  2015;35(34):12002-12017.
Lamin B1 is a component of the nuclear lamina and plays a critical role in maintaining nuclear architecture, regulating gene expression and modulating chromatin positioning. We have previously shown that LMNB1 gene duplications cause autosomal dominant leukodystrophy (ADLD), a fatal adult onset demyelinating disease. The mechanisms by which increased LMNB1 levels cause ADLD are unclear. To address this, we used a transgenic mouse model where Lamin B1 overexpression is targeted to oligodendrocytes. These mice showed severe vacuolar degeneration of the spinal cord white matter together with marked astrogliosis, microglial infiltration, and secondary axonal damage. Oligodendrocytes in the transgenic mice revealed alterations in histone modifications favoring a transcriptionally repressed state. Chromatin changes were accompanied by reduced expression of genes involved in lipid synthesis pathways, many of which are known to play important roles in myelin regulation and are preferentially expressed in oligodendrocytes. Decreased lipogenic gene expression resulted in a significant reduction in multiple classes of lipids involved in myelin formation. Many of these gene expression changes and lipid alterations were observed even before the onset of the phenotype, suggesting a causal role. Our findings establish, for the first time, a link between LMNB1 and lipid synthesis in oligodendrocytes, and provide a mechanistic framework to explain the age dependence and white matter involvement of the disease phenotype. These results have implications for disease pathogenesis and may also shed light on the regulation of lipid synthesis pathways in myelin maintenance and turnover.
SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Autosomal dominant leukodystrophy (ADLD) is fatal neurological disorder caused by increased levels of the nuclear protein, Lamin B1. The disease is characterized by an age-dependent loss of myelin, the fatty sheath that covers nerve fibers. We have studied a mouse model where Lamin B1 level are increased in oligodendrocytes, the cell type that produces myelin in the CNS. We demonstrate that destruction of myelin in the spinal cord is responsible for the degenerative phenotype in our mouse model. We show that this degeneration is mediated by reduced expression of lipid synthesis genes and the subsequent reduction in myelin enriched lipids. These findings provide a mechanistic framework to explain the age dependence and tissue specificity of the ADLD disease phenotype.
doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1668-15.2015
PMCID: PMC4549407  PMID: 26311780
chromatin; demyelination; gene expression; inflammation; Lamin B1; lipid
19.  Distinct features of lamin A-interacting chromatin domains mapped by ChIP-sequencing from sonicated or micrococcal nuclease-digested chromatin 
Nucleus  2015;6(1):30-39.
The nuclear lamina has been shown to interact with the genome through lamina-associated domains (LADs). LADs have been identified by DamID, a proximity labeling assay, and more recently by chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing (ChIP-seq) of A- and B-type lamins. LADs form megabase-size domains at the nuclear periphery, they are gene-poor and mostly heterochromatic. Here, we show that the mode of chromatin fragmentation for ChIP, namely bath sonication or digestion with micrococcal nuclease (MNase), leads to the discovery of common but also distinct sets of lamin-interacting domains, or LiDs. Using ChIP-seq, we show the existence of lamin A/C (LMNA) LiDs with distinct gene contents, histone composition enrichment and relationships to lamin B1-interacting domains. The extent of genome coverage of lamin A/C (LMNA) LiDs in sonicated or MNase-digested chromatin is similar (∼730 megabases); however over half of these domains are uniquely detected in sonicated or MNase-digested chromatin. Sonication-specific LMNA LiDs are gene-poor and devoid of a broad panel of histone modifications, while MNase-specific LMNA LiDs are of higher gene density and are enriched in H3K9me3, H3K27me3 and in histone variant H2A.Z. LMNB1 LiDs are gene-poor and show no or little enrichment in these marks. Comparison of published LMNB1 DamID LADs with LMNB1 and LMNA LiDs identified here by ChIP-seq further shows that LMNA can associate with ‘open’ chromatin domains displaying euchromatin characteristics, and which are not associated with LMNB1. The differential genomic and epigenetic properties of lamin-interacting domains reflect the existence of distinct LiD populations identifiable in different chromatin contexts, including nuclease-accessible regions presumably localized in the nuclear interior.
doi:10.4161/19491034.2014.990855
PMCID: PMC4615303  PMID: 25602132
ChIP; chromatin; lamin-interacting domain; micrococcal nuclease; nuclear lamin; sonication
20.  NUP-1 Is a Large Coiled-Coil Nucleoskeletal Protein in Trypanosomes with Lamin-Like Functions 
PLoS Biology  2012;10(3):e1001287.
NUP1, the first example of a nuclear lamin analog in nonmetazoans, performs roles similar to those of lamins in maintaining the structure and organization of the nucleus in Trypanosoma brucei.
A unifying feature of eukaryotic nuclear organization is genome segregation into transcriptionally active euchromatin and transcriptionally repressed heterochromatin. In metazoa, lamin proteins preserve nuclear integrity and higher order heterochromatin organization at the nuclear periphery, but no non-metazoan lamin orthologues have been identified, despite the likely presence of nucleoskeletal elements in many lineages. This suggests a metazoan-specific origin for lamins, and therefore that distinct protein elements must compose the nucleoskeleton in other lineages. The trypanosomatids are highly divergent organisms and possess well-documented but remarkably distinct mechanisms for control of gene expression, including polycistronic transcription and trans-splicing. NUP-1 is a large protein localizing to the nuclear periphery of Trypanosoma brucei and a candidate nucleoskeletal component. We sought to determine if NUP-1 mediates heterochromatin organization and gene regulation at the nuclear periphery by examining the influence of NUP-1 knockdown on morphology, chromatin positioning, and transcription. We demonstrate that NUP-1 is essential and part of a stable network at the inner face of the trypanosome nuclear envelope, since knockdown cells have abnormally shaped nuclei with compromised structural integrity. NUP-1 knockdown also disrupts organization of nuclear pore complexes and chromosomes. Most significantly, we find that NUP-1 is required to maintain the silenced state of developmentally regulated genes at the nuclear periphery; NUP-1 knockdown results in highly specific mis-regulation of telomere-proximal silenced variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) expression sites and procyclin loci, indicating a disruption to normal chromatin organization essential to life-cycle progression. Further, NUP-1 depletion leads to increased VSG switching and therefore appears to have a role in control of antigenic variation. Thus, analogous to vertebrate lamins, NUP-1 is a major component of the nucleoskeleton with key roles in organization of the nuclear periphery, heterochromatin, and epigenetic control of developmentally regulated loci.
Author Summary
Eukaryotes—fungi, plants, animals, and many unicellular organisms—are defined by the presence of a cell nucleus that contains the chromosomes and is enveloped by a lipid membrane lined on the inner face with a protein network called the lamina. Among other functions, the lamina serves as an anchorage site for the ends of chromosomes. In multicellular animals (metazoa), the lamina comprises a few related proteins called lamins, which are very important for many functions related to the nucleus; abnormal lamins result in multiple nuclear defects and diseases, including inappropriate gene expression and premature aging. Until now, however, lamins had been found only in metazoa; no protein of equivalent function had been identified in plants, fungi, or unicellular organisms. Here, we describe a protein from African trypanosomes—the single-cell parasites that cause sleeping sickness—that fulfils many lamin-like roles, including maintaining nuclear structure and organizing the chromosomes of this organism. We show that this protein, which we call NUP-1 for nuclear periphery protein-1, is vital for the antigenic variation mechanisms that allow the parasite to escape the host immune response. We propose that NUP-1 is a lamin analogue that performs similar functions in trypanosomes to those of authentic lamins in metazoa. These findings, we believe, have important implications for understanding the evolution of the nucleus.
doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001287
PMCID: PMC3313915  PMID: 22479148
21.  A Comparative Study of Drosophila and Human A-Type Lamins 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(10):e7564.
Nuclear intermediate filament proteins, called lamins, form a meshwork that lines the inner surface of the nuclear envelope. Lamins contain three domains: an N-terminal head, a central rod and a C-terminal tail domain possessing an Ig-fold structural motif. Lamins are classified as either A- or B-type based on structure and expression pattern. The Drosophila genome possesses two genes encoding lamins, Lamin C and lamin Dm0, which have been designated A- and B-type, respectively, based on their expression profile and structural features. In humans, mutations in the gene encoding A-type lamins are associated with a spectrum of predominantly tissue-specific diseases known as laminopathies. Linking the disease phenotypes to cellular functions of lamins has been a major challenge. Drosophila is being used as a model system to identify the roles of lamins in development. Towards this end, we performed a comparative study of Drosophila and human A-type lamins. Analysis of transgenic flies showed that human lamins localize predictably within the Drosophila nucleus. Consistent with this finding, yeast two-hybrid data demonstrated conservation of partner-protein interactions. Drosophila lacking A-type lamin show nuclear envelope defects similar to those observed with human laminopathies. Expression of mutant forms of the A-type Drosophila lamin modeled after human disease-causing amino acid substitutions revealed an essential role for the N-terminal head and the Ig-fold in larval muscle tissue. This tissue-restricted sensitivity suggests a conserved role for lamins in muscle biology. In conclusion, we show that (1) localization of A-type lamins and protein-partner interactions are conserved between Drosophila and humans, (2) loss of the Drosophila A-type lamin causes nuclear defects and (3) muscle tissue is sensitive to the expression of mutant forms of A-type lamin modeled after those causing disease in humans. These studies provide new insights on the role of lamins in nuclear biology and support Drosophila as a model for studies of human laminopathies involving muscle dysfunction.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007564
PMCID: PMC2762312  PMID: 19855837
22.  Lamin B1 fluctuations have differential effects on cellular proliferation and senescence 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2013;200(5):605-617.
Both LMNB1 depletion and overexpression inhibit proliferation, but only LMNB1 overexpression induces senescence.
The nuclear lamina consists of A- and B-type lamins. Mutations in LMNA cause many human diseases, including progeria, a premature aging syndrome, whereas LMNB1 duplication causes adult-onset autosomal dominant leukodystrophy (ADLD). LMNB1 is reduced in cells from progeria patients, but the significance of this reduction is unclear. In this paper, we show that LMNB1 protein levels decline in senescent human dermal fibroblasts and keratinocytes, mediated by reduced transcription and inhibition of LMNB1 messenger ribonucleic acid (RNA) translation by miRNA-23a. This reduction is also observed in chronologically aged human skin tissue. To determine whether altered LMNB1 levels cause senescence, we either increased or reduced LMNB1. Both LMNB1 depletion and overexpression inhibited proliferation, but only LMNB1 overexpression induced senescence, which was prevented by telomerase expression or inactivation of p53. This phenotype was exacerbated by a simultaneous reduction of LMNA/C. Our results demonstrate that altering LMNB1 levels inhibits proliferation and are relevant to understanding the molecular pathology of ADLD.
doi:10.1083/jcb.201206121
PMCID: PMC3587829  PMID: 23439683
23.  Is LMNB1 a Susceptibility Gene for Neural Tube Defects in Humans? 
BACKGROUND
Lamins are intermediate filament proteins that form a major component of the nuclear lamina, a protein complex at the surface of the inner nuclear membrane. Numerous clinically diverse conditions, termed laminopathies, have been found to result from mutation of LMNA. In contrast, coding or loss of function mutations of LMNB1, encoding lamin B1, have not been identified in human disease. In mice, polymorphism in Lmnb1 has been shown to modify risk of neural tube defects (NTDs), malformations of the central nervous system that result from incomplete closure of the neural folds.
METHODS
Mutation analysis by DNA sequencing was performed on all exons of LMNB1 in 239 samples from patients with NTDs from the United Kingdom, Sweden, and United States. Possible functional effects of missense variants were analyzed by bioinformatics prediction and fluorescence in photobleaching.
RESULTS
In NTD patients, we identified two unique missense variants that were predicted to disrupt protein structure/function and represent putative contributory mutations. Fluorescence loss in photobleaching analysis showed that the A436T variant compromised stability of lamin B1 interaction within the lamina.
CONCLUSION
The genetic basis of human NTDs appears highly heterogenous with possible involvement of multiple predisposing genes. We hypothesize that rare variants of LMNB1 may contribute to susceptibility to NTDs. Birth Defects Research (Part A) 97:398–402, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
doi:10.1002/bdra.23141
PMCID: PMC3738925  PMID: 23733478
anencephaly; lamin B1; neural tube defects; nuclear lamina; spina bifida
24.  Lamin B1 controls oxidative stress responses via Oct-1 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2009;184(1):45-55.
Interaction of lamins with chromatin and transcription factors regulate transcription. Oct-1 has previously been shown to colocalize partly with B-type lamins and is essential for transcriptional regulation of oxidative stress response genes. Using sequential extraction, co-immunoprecipitation (IP), fluorescence loss in photobleaching, and fluorescence resonance energy transfer, we confirm Oct-1–lamin B1 association at the nuclear periphery and show that this association is lost in Lmnb1Δ/Δ cells. We show that several Oct-1–dependent genes, including a subset involved in oxidative stress response, are dysregulated in Lmnb1Δ/Δ cells. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay and chromatin IP reveal that Oct-1 binds to the putative octamer-binding sequences of the dysregulated genes and that this activity is increased in cells lacking functional lamin B1. Like Oct1−/− cells, Lmnb1Δ/Δ cells have elevated levels of reactive oxygen species and are more susceptible to oxidative stress. Sequestration of Oct-1 at the nuclear periphery by lamin B1 may be a mechanism by which the nuclear envelope can regulate gene expression and contribute to the cellular response to stress, development, and aging.
doi:10.1083/jcb.200804155
PMCID: PMC2615091  PMID: 19139261
25.  Lamin B1 mediates cell-autonomous neuropathology in a leukodystrophy mouse model 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2013;123(6):2719-2729.
Adult-onset autosomal-dominant leukodystrophy (ADLD) is a progressive and fatal neurological disorder characterized by early autonomic dysfunction, cognitive impairment, pyramidal tract and cerebellar dysfunction, and white matter loss in the central nervous system. ADLD is caused by duplication of the LMNB1 gene, which results in increased lamin B1 transcripts and protein expression. How duplication of LMNB1 leads to myelin defects is unknown. To address this question, we developed a mouse model of ADLD that overexpresses lamin B1. These mice exhibited cognitive impairment and epilepsy, followed by age-dependent motor deficits. Selective overexpression of lamin B1 in oligodendrocytes also resulted in marked motor deficits and myelin defects, suggesting these deficits are cell autonomous. Proteomic and genome-wide transcriptome studies indicated that lamin B1 overexpression is associated with downregulation of proteolipid protein, a highly abundant myelin sheath component that was previously linked to another myelin-related disorder, Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease. Furthermore, we found that lamin B1 overexpression leads to reduced occupancy of Yin Yang 1 transcription factor at the promoter region of proteolipid protein. These studies identify a mechanism by which lamin B1 overexpression mediates oligodendrocyte cell–autonomous neuropathology in ADLD and implicate lamin B1 as an important regulator of myelin formation and maintenance during aging.
doi:10.1172/JCI66737
PMCID: PMC3668844  PMID: 23676464

Results 1-25 (1361281)