J Invest Dermatol 2019 Nov 23;139(11):2272-2280.e12. Epub 2019 May 23.
Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Center for Innovative Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden. Electronic address:
Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is the result of a defective form of the lamin A protein called progerin. While progerin is known to disrupt the properties of the nuclear lamina, the underlying mechanisms responsible for the pathophysiology of HGPS remain less clear. Previous studies in our laboratory have shown that progerin expression in murine epidermal basal cells results in impaired stratification and halted development of the skin. Stratification and differentiation of the epidermis is regulated by asymmetric stem cell division. Here, we show that expression of progerin impairs the ability of stem cells to maintain tissue homeostasis as a result of altered cell division. Quantification of basal skin cells showed an increase in symmetric cell division that correlated with progerin accumulation in HGPS mice. Investigation of the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon revealed a putative role of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Further analysis suggested an alteration in the nuclear translocation of β-catenin involving the inner and outer nuclear membrane proteins, emerin and nesprin-2. Taken together, our results suggest a direct involvement of progerin in the transmission of Wnt signaling and normal stem cell division. These insights into the molecular mechanisms of progerin may help develop new treatment strategies for HGPS.