The R439C mutation in LMNA causes lamin oligomerization and susceptibility to oxidative stress

V.L.R.M. Verstraeten, S. Caputo, M.A.M. Van Steensel, I. Duband-Goulet, Sophie Zinn-Justin, M.A.F. Kamps, Helma J.H. Kuijpers, Cecilia Östlund, Howard J. Worman, Jacob J. Briedé, Caroline Le Dour, Carlo L.M. Marcelis, Michel Van Geel, P.M. Steijlen, A. Van Den Wijngaard, F.C.S. Ramaekers, J.L.V. Broers

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Dunnigan-type familial partial lipodystrophy (FPLD) is a laminopathy characterized by an aberrant fat distribution and a metabolic syndrome for which oxidative stress has recently been suggested as one of the disease-causing mechanisms. In a family affected with FPLD, we identified a heterozygous missense mutation c.1315C>T in the LMNA gene leading to the p.R439C substitution. Cultured patient fibroblasts do not show any prelamin A accumulation and reveal honeycomb-like lamin A-C formations in a significant percentage of nuclei. The mutation affects a region in the C-terminal globular domain of lamins A and C, different from the FPLD-related hot spot. Here, the introduction of an extra cysteine allows for the formation of disulphide-mediated lamin A-C oligomers. This oligomerization affects the interaction properties of the C-terminal domain with DNA as shown by gel retardation assays and causes a DNA-interaction pattern that is distinct from the classical R482W FPLD mutant. Particularly, whereas the R482W mutation decreases the binding efficiency of the C-terminal domain to DNA, the R439C mutation increases it. Electron spin resonance spectroscopy studies show significantly higher levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) upon induction of oxidative stress in R439C patient fibroblasts compared to healthy controls. This increased sensitivity to oxidative stress seems independent of the oligomerization and enhanced DNA binding typical for R439C, as both the R439C and R482W mutants show a similar and significant increase in ROS upon induction of oxidative stress by H2O2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)959-971
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2009


  • Cysteine
  • Disulphide bond
  • DNA
  • FPLD
  • Laminopathy
  • Lipodystrophy
  • Oligomerization
  • Oxidative stress
  • ROS


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