Background and Purpose
A substantial portion of clinically diagnosed TIA cases is imaging-negative. The purpose of the current study is to determine if arterial spin-labeling (ASL) is helpful in detecting perfusion abnormalities in patients presenting clinically with TIA.
Materials and Methods
Pseudo-continuous ASL with 3D background suppressed gradient and spin echo (GRASE) was acquired on 49 patients suspected of TIA within 24 hours of symptom onset. All patients were free of prior stroke history and had no lesion-specific findings on general MR, DWI and MRA sequences. The calculated ASL CBF maps were scored from 1 to 3 based on the presence and severity of perfusion disturbance by three independent observers blinded to patient history. An age-matched cohort of 36 patients diagnosed with no cerebrovascular events was evaluated as a control. Inter-observer agreement was assessed using Kendall concordance test.
Scoring of perfusion abnormalities on ASL scans of TIA cohort was highly concordant among the 3 observers (w=0.812). The sensitivity and specificity of ASL in diagnosing perfusion abnormalities in TIA was 55.8% and 90.7%, respectively. In 93.3% (70 out of 75) of the ASL CBF map readings with positive scores (≥2), the brain regions where perfusion abnormalities were identified by 3 observers matched with the neurological deficits at TIA onset.
In this preliminary study, ASL showed promise in detecting perfusion abnormalities that correlated with clinically diagnosed TIA in patients with otherwise normal neuro-imaging.
Continuous treatment with organic nitrates causes nitrate tolerance and endothelial dysfunction, which is involved with protein kinase C (PKC) signal pathway and NADPH oxidase activation. We determined whether chronic administration with nitroglycerine compromises the protective effects of propofol against tumor necrosis factor (TNF-) induced toxicity in endothelial cells by PKC-β2 dependent NADPH oxidase activation. Primary cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells were either treated or untreated with TNF-α (40 ng/mL) alone or in the presence of the specific PKC-β2 inhibitor CGP53353 (1 μM)), nitroglycerine (10 μM), propofol (100 μM), propofol plus nitroglycerin, or CGP53353 plus nitroglycerine, respectively, for 24 hours. TNF-α increased the levels of superoxide, Nox (nitrate and nitrite), malondialdehyde, and nitrotyrosine production, accompanied by increased protein expression of p-PKC-β2, gP91phox, and endothelial cell apoptosis, whereas all these changes were further enhanced by nitroglycerine. CGP53353 and propofol, respectively, reduced TNF-α induced oxidative stress and cell toxicity. CGP53353 completely prevented TNF-α induced oxidative stress and cell toxicity in the presence or absence of nitroglycerine, while the protective effects of propofol were neutralized by nitroglycerine. It is concluded that nitroglycerine comprises the protective effects of propofol against TNF-α stimulation in endothelial cells, primarily through PKC-β2 dependent NADPH oxidase activation.
An efficient screening method was developed for functionalized DNA-targeted platinum-containing hybrid anticancer agents based on metal-mediated amine-to-nitrile addition, a form of “click” chemistry. The goal of the study was to generate platinum–acridine agents for their use as cytotoxic “warheads” in targeted and multifunctional therapies. This was achieved by introducing hydroxyl, carboxylic acid, and azide functionalities in the acridine linker moiety and by varying the nonleaving groups attached to platinum. The assay, which was based on microscale reactions between 6 platinum–nitrile complexes and 10 acridine derivatives, yielded a small library of 60 platinum–acridines. Reactions were monitored and product mixtures were quantitatively analyzed by automated in-line high-performance liquid chromatography– electrospray mass spectrometry (LC-ESMS) analysis and subjected to cell viability screening using a non-radioactive cell proliferation assay. The new prescreening methodology proves to be a powerful tool for establishing structure–activity relationships and for identifying target compounds.
In this paper, we concluded that transient acidosis reperfusion conferred cardioprotection against myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury in isolated rat hearts through activating PI3K-Akt-eNOS pathway.
Numerous epidemiological studies have examined associations of genetic variations in LEP (G2548A, -2548 nucleotide upstream of the ATG start site) and LEPR (Q223R, nonsynonymous SNP in exon 6) with cancer susceptibility; however, the findings are inconsistent. Therefore, we performed a meta-analysis to comprehensively evaluate such associations.
We searched published literature from MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science and CBM for eligible publications. We also assessed genotype-based mRNA expression data from HapMap for rs7799039 (G2548A) and rs1137101 (Q223R) in normal cell lines derived from 270 subjects with different ethnicities.
The final analysis included 16 published studies of 6569 cases and 8405 controls for the LEP G2548A and 19 studies of 7504 cases and 9581 controls for the LEPR Q223R. Overall, LEP G2548A was statistically significantly associated with an increased risk of overall cancer (AA vs. GG: OR=1.27, 95% CI=1.05-1.54; recessive model: OR=1.19, 95% CI=1.00-1.41). Further stratifications by cancer type showed an increased risk for prostate cancer (recessive model: OR=1.26, 95% CI=1.05-1.51) but not for other cancers. For LEPR Q223R, no statistical evidence for an association with risk of cancer was found for all; however, further stratification by ethnicity showed an increased risk for Africans but not for other ethnicities. No significantly differences in LEP and LEPR mRNA expression were found among genotypes or by ethnicity.
Despite some limitations, this meta-analysis found some statistical evidence for an association between the LEP 2548AA genotype and overall risk of cancer, particularly for prostate cancer, but given this variant did not have an effect on mRNA expression, this association warrants additional validation in large and well-designed studies.
Transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1) protein may be multifunctional and related to the development of fibrosis, induction of apoptosis, extracellular signaling and inhibition of proliferation in response to radiation-induced DNA damage. Several studies have investigated associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the TGFB1 gene and risk of late radiation-induced injury of normal tissue, but the conclusions remain controversial.
We searched three electronic databases (i.e., MEDLINE, EMBASE and EBSCO) for eligible publications and performed a meta-analysis assessing the association of three commonly studied SNPs in TGFB1 (i.e., rs1800469, rs1800470 and rs1800471) with risk of late radiation-induced injury of normal tissue.
We finally included 28 case-only studies from 16 publications on aforementioned SNPs in TGFB1. However, we did not find statistical evidence of any significant association with overall risk of late radiotherapy toxicity in the pooled analysis or in further stratified analysis by cancer type, endpoint, ethnicity and sample size.
This meta-analysis did not find statistical evidence for an association between SNPs in TGFB1 and risk of late radiation-induced injury of normal tissue, but this finding needs further confirmation by a single large study.
Caspase 7 (CASP7) is an important regulator and executioner in the apoptosis pathway and plays a crucial role in cancer development and progression. However, few studies have evaluated associations between functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the 3′ untranslational region (UTR) of CASP7 and risk of gastric cancer.
In a case-control study of 1117 patients with gastric cancer and 1146 cancer-free controls with frequency matching on age and sex, we genotyped four potentially functional SNPs (rs4353229T>C, rs10787498T>G, rs1127687G>A and rs12247479G>A) located in the microRNA binding sites of the CASP7 3′ UTR by using Taqman assays and evaluated their associations with risk of gastric cancer by using logistic regression analyses as well as multifactorial dimension reduction (MDR) analysis.
In the single-locus analysis, only the CASP7 rs4353229 TT genotype was associated with 0.83-fold decreased risk (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.70–0.98) of gastric cancer under a recessive model, compared with the CT/CC genotypes. In the combined analysis of all four SNPs, we found that the risk of gastric cancer decreased by 19% in those carrying any of the risk genotypes (adjusted odds ratio = 0.81, 95% CI = 0.68–0.96), compared with those carrying zero risk genotypes, and this risk was more evident in subgroups of younger age (<59 years), females, non-smokers, non-drinkers and patients with non-gastric cardia adenocarcinoma. Further MDR analysis suggested some evidence of interactions between the combined genotypes and other risk factors for gastric cancer.
Potentially functional CASP7 variants may contribute to risk of gastric cancer. Larger studies with different ethnic populations are warranted to validate our findings.
High-performance liquid chromatography in conjunction with electrospray mass spectrometry (LC-ESMS) was used to structurally characterize the adducts formed by the platinum–acridine agent [PtCl(en)(N-(2-(acridin-9-ylamino)ethyl)-N-methylpropionimidamide)](NO3)2 (compound 1) in cell-free DNA. Compound 1 forms monofunctional adducts exclusively with guanine, based on the fragments identified in enzymatic digests (dG*, dGMP*, dApG*, and dTpG*, where the asterisk denotes bound drug). The time course of accumulation and DNA adduct formation of compound 1 and the clinical drug cisplatin in NCI-H460 lung cancer cells at physiologically relevant drug concentrations (0.1 μM) was studied by inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Compound 1 accumulates rapidly in cells and reaches intracellular levels of up to 60-fold higher than those determined for cisplatin. The hybrid agent shows unusually high DNA binding levels: while cisplatin adducts form at a maximum frequency of 5 adducts per 106 nucleotides, compound 1 produces 25 adducts per 106 nucleotides after only 3 h of continuous incubation with the lung cancer cells. The high overall levels of compound 1 in the cells and in cellular DNA over the entire 12-h treatment period translate into a rapid decrease in cell viability. Possible implications of these findings for the mechanism of action of compound 1 and the agent’s potential to overcome tumor resistance to cisplatin are discussed.
The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers amyloid β (Aβ)-42, total-tau (T-tau), and phosphorylated-tau (P-tau) demonstrate good diagnostic accuracy for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, there are large variations in biomarker measurements between studies, and between and within laboratories. The Alzheimer’s Association has initiated a global quality control program to estimate and monitor variability of measurements, quantify batch-to-batch assay variations, and identify sources of variability. In this article, we present the results from the first two rounds of the program.
The program is open for laboratories using commercially available kits for Aβ, T-tau, or P-tau. CSF samples (aliquots of pooled CSF) are sent for analysis several times a year from the Clinical Neurochemistry Laboratory at the Molndal campus of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Each round consists of three quality control samples.
Forty laboratories participated. Twenty-six used INNOTESTenzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits, 14 used Luminex xMAP with the INNO-BIA AlzBio3 kit (both measure Aβ-(1-42), P-tau(181P), and T-tau), and 5 used Meso Scale Discovery with the Aβ triplex (AβN-42, AβN-40, and AβN-38) or T-tau kits. The total coefficients of variation between the laboratories were 13% to 36%. Five laboratories analyzed the samples six times on different occasions. Within-laboratory precisions differed considerably between biomarkers within individual laboratories.
Measurements of CSF AD biomarkers show large between-laboratory variability, likely caused by factors related to analytical procedures and the analytical kits. Standardization of laboratory procedures and efforts by kit vendors to increase kit performance might lower variability, and will likely increase the usefulness of CSF AD biomarkers.
Alzheimer’s disease; Cerebrospinal fluid; Biomarkers; External assurance; External control; Proficiency testing
BACE1 is responsible for β-secretase cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein (APP), which represents the first step in the production of amyloid β (Aβ) peptides. Previous reports, by us and others, have indicated that the levels of BACE1 protein and activity are increased in the brain cortex of patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The association between oxidative stress (OS) and AD has prompted investigations that support the potentiation of BACE1 expression and enzymatic activity by OS. Here, we have established conditions to analyse the effects of mild, non-lethal OS on BACE1 in primary neuronal cultures, independently from apoptotic mechanisms that were shown to impair BACE1 turnover. Six-hour treatment of mouse primary cortical cells with 10–40 µM hydrogen peroxide did not significantly compromise cell viability but it did produce mild oxidative stress (mOS), as shown by the increased levels of reactive radical species and activation of p38 stress kinase. The endogenous levels of BACE1 mRNA and protein were not significantly altered in these conditions, whereas a toxic H2O2 concentration (100 µM) caused an increase in BACE1 protein levels. Notably, mOS conditions resulted in increased levels of the BACE1 C-terminal cleavage product of APP, β-CTF. Subcellular fractionation techniques showed that mOS caused a major rearrangement of BACE1 localization from light to denser fractions, resulting in an increased distribution of BACE1 in fractions containing APP and markers for trans-Golgi network and early endosomes. Collectively, these data demonstrate that mOS does not modify BACE1 expression but alters BACE1 subcellular compartmentalization to favour the amyloidogenic processing of APP, and thus offer new insight in the early molecular events of AD pathogenesis.
Platelets are the first peripheral source of amyloid precursor protein (APP). They possess the proteolytic machinery to produce Aβ and fragments similar to those produced in neurons, and thus offer an ex-vivo model to study APP processing and changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Platelet process APP mostly through the α-secretase pathway to release soluble APP (sAPP). They produce small amounts of Aβ, predominantly Aβ40 over Aβ42. sAPP and Aβ are stored in α-granules and are released upon platelet activation by thrombin and collagen, and agents inducing platelet degranulation. A small proportion of full-length APP is present at the platelet surface and this increases by 3-fold upon platelet activation. Immunoblotting of platelet lysates detects APP as isoforms of 130 kDa and 106-110 kDa. The ratio of these of APP isoforms is significantly lower in patients with AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) than in healthy controls. This ratio follows a decrease that parallels cognitive decline and can predict conversion from MCI to AD. Alterations in the levels of α-secretase ADAM10 and in the enzymatic activities of α- and β-secretase observed in platelets of patients with AD are consistent with increased processing through the amyloidogenic pathway. β-APP cleaving enzyme activity is increased by 24% in platelet membranes of patients with MCI and by 17% in those with AD. Reports of changes in platelet APP expression with MCI and AD have been promising so far and merit further investigation as the search for blood biomarkers in AD, in particular at the prodromal stage, remains a priority and a challenge.
Alzheimer’s disease; Platelet; Biomarker; Amyloid precursor protein; Aβ amyloid; β-amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme; Secretase; Protease-nexin 2
In analyzing the sequence tags for mutant mouse embryonic stem (ES) cell lines in BayGenomics (a mouse gene-trapping resource), we identified a novel gene, Agpat6, with sequence similarities to previously characterized glycerolipid acyltransferases. Agpat6’s closest family member is another novel gene that we have provisionally designated Agpat8. Both Agpat6 and Agpat8 are conserved from plants, nematodes, and flies to mammals. AGPAT6, which is predicted to contain multiple membrane-spanning helices, is found exclusively within the endoplasmic reticulum in mammalian cells. To gain insights into the in vivo importance of Agpat6, we used the Agpat6 ES cell line from BayGenomics to create Agpat6-deficient (Agpat6−/−) mice. Agpat6−/− mice lacked full-length Agpat6 transcripts, as judged by northern blots. One of the most striking phenotypes of Agpat6−/− mice was a defect in lactation. Pups nursed by Agpat6−/− mothers die perinatally. Normally, Agpat6 is expressed at high levels in the mammary epithelium of breast tissue, but not in the surrounding adipose tissue. Histological studies revealed that the aveoli and ducts of Agpat6−/− lactating mammary glands were underdeveloped, and there was a dramatic decrease in size and number of lipid droplets within mammary epithelial cells and ducts. Also, the milk from Agpat6−/− mice was markedly depleted in diacylglycerols and triacylglycerols. Thus, we identified a novel glycerolipid acyltransferase of the endoplasmic reticulum, AGPAT6, which is crucial for the production of milk fat by the mammary gland.
LPAAT; acyltransferase; transacylase; milk fat
TDP-43 proteinopathies are characterized by loss of nuclear TDP-43 expression and formation of C-terminal TDP-43 fragmentation and accumulation in the cytoplasm. Recent studies have shown that TDP-43 can accumulate in RNA stress granules (SGs) in response to cell stresses and this could be associated with subsequent formation of TDP-43 ubiquinated protein aggregates. However, the initial mechanisms controlling endogenous TDP-43 accumulation in SGs during chronic disease are not understood. In this study we investigated the mechanism of TDP-43 processing and accumulation in SGs in SH-SY5Y neuronal-like cells exposed to chronic oxidative stress. Cell cultures were treated overnight with the mitochondrial inhibitor paraquat and examined for TDP-43 and SG processing.
We found that mild stress induced by paraquat led to formation of TDP-43 and HuR-positive SGs, a proportion of which were ubiquitinated. The co-localization of TDP-43 with SGs could be fully prevented by inhibition of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). JNK inhibition did not prevent formation of HuR-positive SGs and did not prevent diffuse TDP-43 accumulation in the cytosol. In contrast, ERK or p38 inhibition prevented formation of both TDP-43 and HuR-positive SGs. JNK inhibition also inhibited TDP-43 SG localization in cells acutely treated with sodium arsenite and reduced the number of aggregates per cell in cultures transfected with C-terminal TDP-43 162-414 and 219-414 constructs.
Our studies are the first to demonstrate a critical role for kinase control of TDP-43 accumulation in SGs and may have important implications for development of treatments for FTD and ALS, targeting cell signal pathway control of TDP-43 aggregation.
TDP-43; stress granules; JNK; kinases; oxidative stress; paraquat; hnRNP
Gamma-secretase is involved in the production of Aβ amyloid peptides. It cleaves the transmembrane domain of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) at alternative sites to produce Aβ and the APP intracellular domain (AICD). Metal ions play an important role in Aβ aggregation and metabolism, thus metal chelators and ligands represent potential therapeutic agents for AD treatment. A direct effect of metal chelators on γ-secretase has not yet been investigated. The authors used an in vitro γ-secretase assay consisting of cleavage of APP C100-3XFLAG by endogenous γ-secretase from rodent brains and human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y, and detected AICD production by western blotting. Adding metalloprotease inhibitors to the reaction showed that clioquinol, phosphoramidon, and zinc metalloprotease inhibitors had no significant effect on γ-secretase activity. In contrast, phenanthroline, EDTA, and EGTA markedly decreased γ-secretase activity that could be restored by adding back calcium and magnesium ions. Mg2+ stabilized a 1,000 kDa presenilin 1 complex through blue native gel electrophoresis and size-exclusion chromatography. Data suggest that Ca2+ and Mg2+ stabilize γ-secretase and enhance its activity.
The objective of this study to design a delivery system resistant to the gastrointestinal environment for oral vaccine against porcine rotavirus. Lactococcus lactis NZ9000 was transformed with segments of vP4 of the porcine rotavirus inserted into the pNZ8112 surface-expression vector, and a recombinant L. lactis expressing VP4 protein was constructed. An approximately 27 kDa VP4 protein was confirmed by SDS-PAGE , Western blot and immunostaining analysis. BALB/c mice were immunized orally with VP4-expression recombinant L. lactis and cellular, mucosal and systemic humoral immune responses were examined. Specific anti-VP4 secretory IgA and IgG were found in feces, ophthalmic and vaginal washes and in serum. The induced antibodies demonstrated neutralizing effects on porcine rotavirus infection on MA104 cells. Our findings suggest that oral immunization with VP4-expressing L. lactis induced both specific local and systemic humoral and cellular immune responses in mice.
A common strategy for conditional knockout alleles is to “flox” (flank with loxP sites) a 5′ exon within the target gene. Typically, the floxed exon does not contain a unit number of codons so that the Cre-mediated recombination event yields a frameshift and a null allele. Documenting recombination within the genomic DNA is often regarded as sufficient proof of a frameshift, and the analysis of transcripts is neglected. We evaluated a previously reported conditional knockout allele for the β-subunit of protein farnesyltransferase. The recombination event in that allele—the excision of exon 3—was predicted to yield a frameshift. However, following the excision of exon 3, exon 4 was skipped by the mRNA splicing machinery, and the predominant transcript from the mutant allele lacked exon 3 and exon 4 sequences. The “Δexon 3–4 transcript” does not contain a frameshift but rather is predicted to encode a protein with a short in-frame deletion. This represents a significant concern when studying an enzyme, since an enzyme with partial function could lead to erroneous conclusions. With thousands of new conditional knockout alleles under construction within mouse mutagenesis consortiums, the protein farnesyltransferase allele holds an important lesson—to characterize knockout alleles at both the DNA and RNA levels.
protein prenylation; farnesylation; prelamin A; HDJ-2; knockout mice
Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is a progeroid syndrome characterized by multiple aging-like disease phenotypes. We recently reported that a protein farnesyltransferase inhibitor (FTI) improved several disease phenotypes in mice with a HGPS mutation (LmnaHG/+). Here, we investigated the impact of an FTI on the survival of LmnaHG/+ mice. The FTI significantly improved the survival of both male and female LmnaHG/+ mice. Treatment with the FTI also improved body weight curves and reduced the number of spontaneous rib fractures. This study provides further evidence for a beneficial effect of an FTI in HGPS.
progeria; aging; protein farnesyltransferase inhibitor; knock-in mice
The triglycerides in chylomicrons are hydrolyzed by lipoprotein lipase (LpL) along the luminal surface of the capillaries. However, the endothelial cell molecule that facilitates chylomicron processing by LpL has not yet been defined. Here, we show that glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored high density lipoprotein–binding protein 1 (GPIHBP1) plays a critical role in the lipolytic processing of chylomicrons. Gpihbp1-deficient mice exhibit a striking accumulation of chylomicrons in the plasma, even on a low-fat diet, resulting in milky plasma and plasma triglyceride levels as high as 5,000 mg/dl. Normally, Gpihbp1 is expressed highly in heart and adipose tissue, the same tissues that express high levels of LpL. In these tissues, GPIHBP1 is located on the luminal face of the capillary endothelium. Expression of GPIHBP1 in cultured cells confers the ability to bind both LpL and chylomicrons. These studies strongly suggest that GPIHBP1 is an important platform for the LpL-mediated processing of chylomicrons in capillaries.
Age-related neurodegenerative disease has been mechanistically linked with mitochondrial dysfunction via damage from reactive oxygen species produced within the cell. We determined whether increased mitochondrial oxidative stress could modulate or regulate two of the key neurochemical hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD): tau phosphorylation, and ß-amyloid deposition. Mice lacking superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) die within the first week of life, and develop a complex heterogeneous phenotype arising from mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. Treatment of these mice with catalytic antioxidants increases their lifespan and rescues the peripheral phenotypes, while uncovering central nervous system pathology. We examined sod2 null mice differentially treated with high and low doses of a catalytic antioxidant and observed striking elevations in the levels of tau phosphorylation (at Ser-396 and other phospho-epitopes of tau) in the low-dose antioxidant treated mice at AD-associated residues. This hyperphosphorylation of tau was prevented with an increased dose of the antioxidant, previously reported to be sufficient to prevent neuropathology. We then genetically combined a well-characterized mouse model of AD (Tg2576) with heterozygous sod2 knockout mice to study the interactions between mitochondrial oxidative stress and cerebral Aß load. We found that mitochondrial SOD2 deficiency exacerbates amyloid burden and significantly reduces metal levels in the brain, while increasing levels of Ser-396 phosphorylated tau. These findings mechanistically link mitochondrial oxidative stress with the pathological features of AD.
The Siraitia grosvenorii polysaccharide (SGP) from the Siraitia grosvenorii (Swingle) was isolated and purified. The therapeutic effects of SGP on diabetic rabbits induced by feeding high fat/high sucrose chow were studied. After administration of SGP for 4 weeks, the fasting blood glucose (FBG), plasma insulin levels (INS), plasma total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), and HDL-C were assayed. The results showed that administration of SGP can significantly decrease plasma total cholesterol, triglyceride, and glucose levels; and increase HDL-C levels after 4 weeks of treatment. The antihyperglycaemic effect of SGP at dose of 100 mg·kg−1 bw was the most significant in three dosage groups. Furthermore, SGP could restore the blood lipid levels of diabetic rabbits (P<.05). These data indicate that SGP not only ameliorates the lipid disorder, but also lowers plasma glucose levels. So SGP have obvious glucose-lowering effect on hyperglycaemic rabbits induced by feeding high fat/high sucrose chow, its mechanism may be related to amelioration of lipid metabolism and restoring the blood lipid levels of hyperglycaemic rabbits.
Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is caused by the production of a truncated prelamin A, called progerin, which is farnesylated at its carboxyl terminus. Progerin is targeted to the nuclear envelope and causes misshapen nuclei. Protein farnesyltransferase inhibitors (FTI) mislocalize progerin away from the nuclear envelope and reduce the frequency of misshapen nuclei. To determine whether an FTI would ameliorate disease phenotypes in vivo, we created gene-targeted mice with an HGPS mutation (LmnaHG/+) and then examined the effect of an FTI on disease phenotypes. LmnaHG/+ mice exhibited phenotypes similar to those in human HGPS patients, including retarded growth, reduced amounts of adipose tissue, micrognathia, osteoporosis, and osteolytic lesions in bone. Osteolytic lesions in the ribs led to spontaneous bone fractures. Treatment with an FTI increased adipose tissue mass, improved body weight curves, reduced the number of rib fractures, and improved bone mineralization and bone cortical thickness. These studies suggest that FTIs could be useful for treating humans with HGPS.
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.