Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Program

Biomedical Sciences

Date of Award

5-2012

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Antonio Rusinol

Committee Members

Deling Yin, Douglas Thewke, Robert Schoborg, Sharon Campbell

Abstract

The A-type lamins are intermediate filament proteins that constitute a major part of the eukaryotic nuclear lamina—a tough, polymerized, mesh lining of the inner nuclear membrane, providing shape and structural integrity to the nucleus. Lamin A (LA) filaments also permeate the nucleoplasm, providing additional structural support, but also scaffolding numerous tethered molecules to stabilize, organize, and facilitate molecular interactions to accomplish critical functions of cellular metabolism. Over the past 2 decades, much attention has been focused on roles of LA in maintenance of nuclear structural integrity. Only since the late 1990s have scientists discovered the devastating effects of LA gene (LMNA) mutations, as they have associated hundreds of LMNA mutations to a large group of diseases, called laminopathies, with a broad spectrum of phenotypes, ranging from skeletal, muscular, and neurological defects, to defective lipid storage, to accelerated aging phenotypes in diseases called progerias. Recent advances demonstrate LA regulatory functions include cell signaling, cell cycle regulation, transcription, chromatin organization, viral egress, and DNA damage repair. Amidst the flurry of fascinating research, only recently have researchers begun to focus attention on the different isoforms that exist for LA, a precursor form among them. LA is initially synthesized as Prelamin A (PreA), and undergoes a series of modifications that truncate the protein to produce “mature” LA. Existence of the precursor form, and its complex maturation pathway, have puzzled researchers since their realization. With a pattern of expression related to cell cycle phase, we hypothesized a role for PreA in cell cycle control. To investigate, we have performed array studies to assess gene expression effects at the levels of transcript expression, protein expression, and phosphorylation modification status. Here, we present evidence for a PreA-mediated program of cell cycle regulatory gene and protein expression modulation. Implicated pathways include RB-E2F, p53, p27Kip1, FoxOs, p300, and the Cyclins, with additional evidence indicating a role for the Pin1 prolyl isomerase in mediating PreA regulation of the cell cycle.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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