Sep 16, 2004

Decreased mechanical stiffness in LMNA-/- cells is caused by defective nucleo-cytoskeletal integrity: implications for the development of laminopathies

Human Molecular Genetics
J L BroersFrans C S Ramaekers


Laminopathies comprise a group of inherited diseases with variable clinical phenotypes, caused by mutations in the lamin A/C gene (LMNA). A prominent feature in several of these diseases is muscle wasting, as seen in Emery-Dreifuss muscle dystrophy, dilated cardiomyopathy and limb-girdle muscular dystrophy. Although the mechanisms underlying this phenotype remain largely obscure, two major working hypotheses are currently being investigated, namely, defects in gene regulation and/or abnormalities in nuclear architecture causing cellular fragility. In this study, using a newly developed cell compression device we have tested the latter hypothesis. The device allows controlled application of mechanical load onto single living cells, with simultaneous visualization of cellular deformation and quantitation of resistance. With the device, we have compared wild-type (MEF+/+) and LMNA knockout (MEF-/-) mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), and found that MEF-/- cells show a significantly decreased mechanical stiffness and a significantly lower bursting force. Partial rescue of the phenotype by transfection with either lamin A or lamin C prevented gross nuclear disruption, as seen in MEF-/- cells, but was unable to fully restore mechanic...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Stress, Mechanical
VIM gene
TUBE1 gene
Specimen Type - Fibroblasts
Indirect Immunofluorescence

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