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.
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.
lamin B1; lamin B2; nuclear envelope; nuclear lamina
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.
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.
nuclear envelope; nuclear lamina; lamin B2; LINC complex; nesprin; SUN; lissencephaly; neuronal migration; cortical neurons; nuclear translocation
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.
nuclear envelope; nuclear lamina; lamin B2; LINC complex; nesprin; SUN; lissencephaly; neuronal migration; cortical neurons; nuclear translocation
•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.
Lamin B1; Cellular senescence; Brain development; Autosomal dominant leukodystrophy
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.
Nuclear lamina; brain development; A-type lamins; B-type lamins; differential gene expression
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lamin; Long non-coding RNA; MicroRNA; Myelin
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
anencephaly; lamin B1; neural tube defects; nuclear lamina; spina bifida
B-type lamins, the major components of the nuclear lamina, are believed to be essential for cell proliferation and survival. We found that mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) do not need any lamins for self-renewal and pluripotency. Although genome-wide lamin-B binding profiles correlate with reduced gene expression, such binding is not directly required for gene silencing in ESCs or trophectoderm cells. However, B-type lamins are required for proper organogenesis. Defects in spindle orientation in neural progenitor cells and migration of neurons probably cause brain disorganizations found in lamin-B null mice. Thus, our studies not only disprove several prevailing views of lamin-Bs but also establish a foundation for redefining the function of the nuclear lamina in the context of tissue building and homeostasis.
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.
Arachidonic acid (AA) is remarkably enriched in phosphatidylinositol (PI). Studies using knockout mice of lysophosphatidylinositol acyltransferase 1, which selectively incorporates AA into PI, reveal that AA-containing PI plays a crucial role in cortical lamination and neuronal migration during brain development.
Dietary arachidonic acid (AA) has roles in growth, neuronal development, and cognitive function in infants. AA is remarkably enriched in phosphatidylinositol (PI), an important constituent of biological membranes in mammals; however, the physiological significance of AA-containing PI remains unknown. In an RNA interference–based genetic screen using Caenorhabditis elegans, we recently cloned mboa-7 as an acyltransferase that selectively incorporates AA into PI. Here we show that lysophosphatidylinositol acyltransferase 1 (LPIAT1, also known as MBOAT7), the closest mammalian homologue, plays a crucial role in brain development in mice. Lpiat1−/− mice show almost no LPIAT activity with arachidonoyl-CoA as an acyl donor and show reduced AA contents in PI and PI phosphates. Lpiat1−/− mice die within a month and show atrophy of the cerebral cortex and hippocampus. Immunohistochemical analysis reveals disordered cortical lamination and delayed neuronal migration in the cortex of E18.5 Lpiat1−/− mice. LPIAT1 deficiency also causes disordered neuronal processes in the cortex and reduced neurite outgrowth in vitro. Taken together, these results demonstrate that AA-containing PI/PI phosphates play an important role in normal cortical lamination during brain development in mice.
The nuclear lamina is the structural scaffold of the nuclear envelope and is well known for its central role in nuclear organization and maintaining nuclear stability and shape. In the past, a number of severe human disorders have been identified to be associated with mutations in lamins. Extensive research on this topic has provided novel important clues about nuclear lamina function. These studies have contributed to the knowledge that the lamina constitutes a complex multifunctional platform combining both structural and regulatory functions. Here, we report that, in addition to the previously demonstrated significance for somatic cell differentiation and maintenance, the nuclear lamina is also an essential determinant for germ cell development. Both male and female mice lacking the short meiosis-specific A-type lamin C2 have a severely defective meiosis, which at least in the male results in infertility. Detailed analysis revealed that lamin C2 is required for telomere-driven dynamic repositioning of meiotic chromosomes. Loss of lamin C2 affects precise synapsis of the homologs and interferes with meiotic double-strand break repair. Taken together, our data explain how the nuclear lamina contributes to meiotic chromosome behaviour and accurate genome haploidization on a mechanistic level.
Diploid germ line cells have to undergo meiosis to produce haploid gametes. Haploidization involves pairing and recombination of homologous chromosomes as a prerequisite for their proper segregation. Pairing of homologous chromosomes requires their active repositioning within meiotic nuclei, which depends on the interaction of telomeres with the nuclear envelope. This dynamic association is vital for a faithful meiosis and thus crucial for fertility. However, very little is known about the relationship between telomeres and nuclear envelope components. Here, we have investigated the role of the nuclear lamina, a structural scaffold that is intimately associated with the inner nuclear membrane. In somatic cells, the lamina is a key player in chromatin organization and fulfils various functions such as nuclear structure maintenance and regulation of transcription. In order to understand its role in meiosis, we investigated lamin C2, the only A-type lamin isoform expressed in mammalian meiotic cells. We demonstrate that lamin C2 is essential for timely repositioning of meiotic telomeres. In its absence, synapsis of homologous chromosomes and double-strand break repair are severely affected. These multiple meiotic defects lead to infertility in males. We conclude that the nuclear lamina contributes directly to fertility through facilitating meiotic chromosome movements.
Mutations in genes encoding the intermediate filament nuclear lamins and associated proteins cause a wide spectrum of diseases sometimes called “laminopathies.” Diseases caused by mutations in LMNA encoding A-type lamins include autosomal dominant Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy and related myopathies, Dunnigan-type familial partial lipodystrophy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2B1 and developmental and accelerated aging disorders. Duplication in LMNB1 encoding lamin B1 causes autosomal dominant leukodystrophy and mutations in LMNB2 encoding lamin B2 are associated with acquired partial lipodystrophy. Disorders caused by mutations in genes encoding lamin-associated integral inner nuclear membrane proteins include X-linked Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy, sclerosing bone dysplasias, HEM/Greenberg skeletal dysplasia and Pelger-Huet anomaly. While mutations and clinical phenotypes of “laminopathies” have been carefully described, data explaining pathogenic mechanisms are only emerging. Future investigations will likely identify new “laminopathies” and a combination of basic and clinical research will lead to a better understanding of pathophysiology and the development of therapies.
lamin; nuclear envelope; intermediate filaments; muscular dystrophy; lipodystrophy; progeria
Mutations that disrupt the conversion of prelamin A to mature lamin A cause the rare genetic disorder Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome and a group of laminopathies. Our understanding of how A-type lamins function in vivo during early vertebrate development through aging remains limited, and would benefit from a suitable experimental model. The zebrafish has proven to be a tractable model organism for studying both development and aging at the molecular genetic level. Zebrafish show an array of senescence symptoms resembling those in humans, which can be targeted to specific aging pathways conserved in vertebrates. However, no zebrafish models bearing human premature senescence currently exist.
We describe the induction of embryonic senescence and laminopathies in zebrafish harboring disturbed expressions of the lamin A gene (LMNA). Impairments in these fish arise in the skin, muscle and adipose tissue, and sometimes in the cartilage. Reduced function of lamin A/C by translational blocking of the LMNA gene induced apoptosis, cell-cycle arrest, and craniofacial abnormalities/cartilage defects. By contrast, induced cryptic splicing of LMNA, which generates the deletion of 8 amino acid residues lamin A (zlamin A-Δ8), showed embryonic senescence and S-phase accumulation/arrest. Interestingly, the abnormal muscle and lipodystrophic phenotypes were common in both cases. Hence, both decrease-of-function of lamin A/C and gain-of-function of aberrant lamin A protein induced laminopathies that are associated with mesenchymal cell lineages during zebrafish early development. Visualization of individual cells expressing zebrafish progerin (zProgerin/zlamin A-Δ37) fused to green fluorescent protein further revealed misshapen nuclear membrane. A farnesyltransferase inhibitor reduced these nuclear abnormalities and significantly prevented embryonic senescence and muscle fiber damage induced by zProgerin. Importantly, the adult Progerin fish survived and remained fertile with relatively mild phenotypes only, but had shortened lifespan with obvious distortion of body shape.
We generated new zebrafish models for a human premature aging disorder, and further demonstrated the utility for studying laminopathies. Premature aging could also be modeled in zebrafish embryos. This genetic model may thus provide a new platform for future drug screening as well as genetic analyses aimed at identifying modifier genes that influence not only progeria and laminopathies but also other age-associated human diseases common in vertebrates.
The mammalian neocortex is characterized as a six-layered laminar structure, in which distinct types of pyramidal neurons are distributed coordinately during embryogenesis. In contrast, no other vertebrate class possesses a brain region that is strictly analogous to the neocortical structure. Although it is widely accepted that the pallium, a dorsal forebrain region, is specified in all vertebrate species, little is known of the differential mechanisms underlying laminated or non-laminated structures in the pallium. Here we show that differences in patterns of neuronal specification and migration provide the pallial architectonic diversity. We compared the neurogenesis in mammalian and avian pallium, focusing on subtype-specific gene expression, and found that the avian pallium generates distinct types of neurons in a spatially restricted manner. Furthermore, expression of Reelin gene is hardly detected in the developing avian pallium, and an experimental increase in Reelin-positive cells in the avian pallium modified radial fiber organization, which resulted in dramatic changes in the morphology of migrating neurons. Our results demonstrate that distinct mechanisms govern the patterns of neuronal specification in mammalian and avian pallial development, and that Reelin-dependent neuronal migration plays a critical role in mammalian type corticogenesis. These lines of evidence shed light on the developmental programs underlying the evolution of the mammalian specific laminated cortex.
Neural tube defects (NTDs), including spina bifida and anencephaly, are common birth defects whose complex multigenic causation has hampered efforts to delineate their molecular basis. The effect of putative modifier genes in determining NTD susceptibility may be investigated in mouse models, particularly those that display partial penetrance such as curly tail, a strain in which NTDs result from a hypomorphic allele of the grainyhead-like-3 gene. Through proteomic analysis, we found that the curly tail genetic background harbours a polymorphic variant of lamin B1, lacking one of a series of nine glutamic acid residues. Lamins are intermediate filament proteins of the nuclear lamina with multiple functions that influence nuclear structure, cell cycle properties, and transcriptional regulation. Fluorescence loss in photobleaching showed that the variant lamin B1 exhibited reduced stability in the nuclear lamina. Genetic analysis demonstrated that the variant also affects neural tube closure: the frequency of spina bifida and anencephaly was reduced three-fold when wild-type lamin B1 was bred into the curly tail strain background. Cultured fibroblasts expressing variant lamin B1 show significantly increased nuclear dysmorphology and diminished proliferative capacity, as well as premature senescence, associated with reduced expression of cyclins and Smc2, and increased expression of p16. The cellular basis of spinal NTDs in curly tail embryos involves a proliferation defect localised to the hindgut epithelium, and S-phase progression was diminished in the hindgut of embryos expressing variant lamin B1. These observations indicate a mechanistic link between altered lamin B1 function, exacerbation of the Grhl3-mediated cell proliferation defect, and enhanced susceptibility to NTDs. We conclude that lamin B1 is a modifier gene of major effect for NTDs resulting from loss of Grhl3 function, a role that is likely mediated via the key function of lamin B1 in maintaining integrity of the nuclear envelope and ensuring normal cell cycle progression.
Failure of early development of the central nervous system leads to severe malformations termed neural tube defects (NTDs), including spina bifida and anencephaly. Inherited genetic risk factors play a major role in determining susceptibility to NTDs, but causative genes have proven difficult to identify. In this study we investigated genetic factors that could alter the risk of NTDs in an established mouse model, curly tail, in which defects result from partial loss of function of the grainyhead-like-3 (Grhl3) gene. We identified a variant of lamin B1, a key protein component of the envelope that surrounds the cell nucleus. The protein alteration reduces the structural integrity of the nuclear envelope, causes the nuclei to have altered shape, and reduces the rate of cell division. Curly tail embryos that carry the “abnormal” lamin B1 variant develop NTDs at three times the rate of those that carry the normal version. We conclude that lamin B1 function influences risk of NTDs due to effects on cell proliferation.
Individuals with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) frequently exhibit cognitive and motor impairments and characteristics of autism. The cerebellum plays a critical role in motor control, cognition, and social interaction, suggesting that cerebellar defects likely contribute to NF1-associated neurodevelopmental disorders. Here we show that Nf1 inactivation during early, but not late stages of cerebellar development, disrupts neuronal lamination, which is partially caused by overproduction of glia and subsequent disruption of the Bergmann glia (BG) scaffold. Specific Nf1 inactivation in glutamatergic neuronal precursors causes premature differentiation of granule cell (GC) precursors and ectopic production of unipolar brush cells (UBCs), indirectly disrupting neuronal migration. Transient MEK inhibition during a neonatal window prevents cerebellar developmental defects and improves long-term motor performance of Nf1-deficient mice. This study reveals essential roles of Nf1 in GC/UBC migration by generating correct numbers of glia and controlling GC/UBC fate-specification/differentiation, identifying a therapeutic prevention strategy for multiple NF1-associcated developmental abnormalities.
Neurofibromatosis type 1 is a condition characterized by the growth of tumors along the nerves of the body. It is caused by mutations in a gene called NF1, which codes for a protein that normally works to inhibit the activity of another protein called Ras. In healthy cells, Ras is needed to stimulate the cells to grow and divide. However, if the Ras protein is not turned off at the right time or if it is activated at the wrong time, it can force cells to keep growing and dividing; this leads to the growth of tumors.
Along with being prone to developing cancer, individuals with neurofibromatosis type 1 also develop a range of neurodevelopmental disorders that alter their learning, motor skills and social interactions. Some also exhibit behaviors that are associated with autism. This led Kim, Wang et al. to investigate whether a region of the brain—called the cerebellum—that has recently been associated with autism is also affected in a mouse model of neurofibromatosis type 1.
The cerebellum is best known for its role in coordinating movement, although it also has functions in cognition, behavior and other processes. Ras is involved in the development of the cerebellum; and so Kim, Wang et al. asked whether the loss of the Nf1 gene from cells in the mouse cerebellum might cause the neurodevelopmental defects associated with neurofibromatosis type 1.
Loss of Nf1 during early (but not in late) development of the cerebellum disrupted the normal organization of the nerve cells (or neurons) into specific cell layers. These defects were caused, in part, by the over-growth of a type of supporting cell—called glia cells—at a specific developmental stage—that would normally form a scaffold to help neurons migrate to their correct position. Nf1 also controls the generation of the correct types of neurons in the right time and at right location during the early development of the cerebellum.
Next, Kim, Wang et al. treated newborn mice with a compound that inhibits Ras signaling via their mother's milk for 3 weeks. In mice with an inactive Nf1 gene, the treatment helped to prevent some defects in the cerebellum and the mice had improved motor coordination several months later. Whether this could form the basis of a preventative treatment for neurodevelopmental disorders associated with neurofibromatosis type 1 in humans remains a question for future work.
neurofibromatosis type 1; cerebellum; bergmann glial cells; granule cells; unipolar brush cells; tumor suppressor gene; mouse