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Altered nuclear structure in myotonic dystrophy type 1-derived fibroblasts

Rodríguez, R., Hernández-Hernández, O., Magaña, J..J., González-Ramírez, R., García-López, E. S., Cisneros, B.
Molecular biology reports 2015 v.42 no.2 pp. 479-488
cell culture, cell nucleolus, fibroblasts, gene expression, genes, genetic disorders, messenger RNA, mutants, nuclear membrane, patients, proteins
Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is a multisystem genetic disorder caused by a triplet nucleotide repeat expansion in the 3′ untranslated region of the Dystrophia Myotonica-Protein Kinase (DMPK) gene. DMPK gene transcripts containing CUG expanded repeats accumulate in nuclear foci and ultimately cause altered splicing/gene expression of numerous secondary genes. The study of primary cell cultures derived from patients with DM1 has allowed the identification and further characterization of molecular mechanisms underlying the pathology in the natural context of the disease. In this study we show for the first time impaired nuclear structure in fibroblasts of DM1 patients. DM1-derived fibroblasts exhibited altered localization of the nuclear envelope (NE) proteins emerin and lamins A/C and B1 with concomitant increased size and altered shape of nuclei. Abnormal NE organization is more common in DM1 fibroblasts containing abundant nuclear foci, implying expression of the expanded RNA as determinant of nuclear defects. That transient expression of the DMPK 3′ UTR containing 960 CTG but not with the 3′ UTR lacking CTG repeats is sufficient to generate NE disruption in normal fibroblasts confirms the direct impact of mutant RNA on NE architecture. We also evidence nucleoli distortion in DM1 fibroblasts by immunostaining of the nucleolar protein fibrillarin, implying a broader effect of the mutant RNA on nuclear structure. In summary, these findings reveal that NE disruption, a hallmark of laminopathy disorders, is a novel characteristic of DM1.