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Exp Cell Res. 2008 May 1;314(8):1869-80. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2008.02.018. Epub 2008 Mar 7.

Expression of the myodystrophic R453W mutation of lamin A in C2C12 myoblasts causes promoter-specific and global epigenetic defects.

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  • 1Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, PO Box 1112 Blindern, 0317 Oslo, Norway.


Autosomal dominant Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (EDMD) is characterized by muscle wasting and is caused by mutations in the LMNA gene encoding A-type lamins. Overexpression of the EDMD lamin A R453W mutation in C2C12 myoblasts impairs myogenic differentiation. We show here the influence of stable expression of the R453W and of the Dunnigan-type partial lipodystrophy R482W mutation of lamin A in C2C12 cells on transcription and epigenetic regulation of the myogenin (Myog) gene and on global chromatin organization. Expression of R453W-, but not R482W-lamin A, impairs activation of Myog and maintains a repressive chromatin state on the Myog promoter upon induction of differentiation, marked by H3 lysine (K) 9 dimethylation and failure to hypertrimethylate H3K4. Cells expressing WT-LaA also fail to hypertrimethylate H3K4. No defect occurs at the level of Myog promoter DNA methylation in any of the clones. Expression of R453W-lamin A and to a lesser extent R482W-lamin A in undifferentiated C2C12 cells redistributes H3K9me3 from pericentric heterochromatin. R453W-lamin A also elicits a redistribution of H3K27me3 from inactive X (Xi) and partial decondensation of Xi, but maintains Xist expression and coating of Xi, indicating that Xi remains inactivated. Our results argue that gene-specific and genome-wide chromatin rearrangements may constitute a molecular basis for laminopathies.

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