Autosomal dominant Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy is caused by mutations in the LMNA gene, which encodes lamin A and lamin C. Mutations in this gene also give rise to limb girdle muscular dystrophy type 1B, dilated cardiomyopathy with atrioventricular conduction defect and Dunnigan-type partial lipodystrophy. The properties of the mutant lamins that cause muscular dystrophy, lipodystrophy and dilated cardiomyopathy are not known. We transfected C2C12 myoblasts with cDNA encoding wild-type lamin A and 15 mutant forms found in patients affected by these diseases. Immunofluorescence microscopy showed that four mutants, N195K, E358K, M371K and R386K, could have a dramatically aberrant localization, with decreased nuclear rim staining and formation of intranuclear foci. The distributions of endogenous lamin A/C, lamin B1 and lamin B2 were also altered in cells expressing these four mutants and three of them caused a loss of emerin from the nuclear envelope. In the yeast two-hybrid assay, the 15 lamin A mutants studied interacted with themselves and with wild-type lamin A and lamin B1. Pulse-chase experiments showed no decrease in the stability of several representative lamin A mutants compared with wild-type. These results indicate that some lamin A mutants causing disease can be aberrantly localized, partially disrupt the endogenous lamina and alter emerin localization, whereas others localize normally in transfected cells.
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