AIMS: Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is a pre-mature aging disorder caused by the mutation of the LMNA gene leading to an irreversibly farnesylated lamin A protein: progerin. The major causes of death in HGPS are coronary and arterial occlusive disease. In the murine model of HGPS, vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) loss is the primary vascular manifestation, which is different from the arterial occlusive disease seen in older patients.

METHODS AND RESULTS: To identify the mechanisms of HGPS vascular disease in humans, we differentiated isogenic endothelial cells (ECs) and VSMCs from HGPS-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and control-iPSCs. Both HGPS-ECs and HGPS-VSMCs manifested cellular hallmarks of aging, including dysmorphic nuclei, impaired proliferation, increased β-galactosidase staining, shortened telomeres, up-regulated secretion of inflammatory cytokines, increased DNA damage, loss of heterochromatin, and altered shelterin protein complex (SPC) expression. However, at similar days after differentiation, even with lower levels of progerin, HGPS-ECs manifested more severe signs of senescence, as indicated in part by a higher percentage of β-galactosidase positive cells, shorter telomere length, and more DNA damage signals. We observed increased γH2A.X binding to RAP1 and reduced TRF2 binding to lamin A in HGPS-ECs but not in HGPS-VSMCs. The expression of γH2A.X was greater in HGPS-ECs than in HGPS-VSMCs and is associated with greater telomere shortening, impaired SPC interactions, and loss of heterochromatin.

CONCLUSION: Although progerin expression has a deleterious effect on both ECs and VSMCs, the dysfunction is greater in HGPS-ECs compared with HGPS-VSMCs. This study suggests that an endothelial-targeted therapy may be useful for HGPS patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)oeac047
JournalEuropean heart journal open
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2022


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