Premature aging syndromes are rare genetic disorders mimicking clinical and molecular features of aging. A recently identified group of premature aging syndromes is linked to mutation of the LMNA gene encoding lamins A and C, and is associated with nuclear deformation and dysfunction. Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) was the first premature aging syndrome linked to LMNA mutation and its molecular bases have been deeply investigated. It is due to a recurrent de novo mutation leading to aberrant splicing and the production of a truncated and toxic nuclear lamin A precursor (prelamin AΔ50), also called progerin. In this work and based on the literature data, we propose to distinguish two main groups of premature aging laminopathies: (1) HGPS and HGP-like syndromes, which share clinical features due to hampered processing and intranuclear toxic accumulation of prelamin A isoforms; and (2) APS (atypical progeria syndromes), due to dominant or recessive missense mutations affecting lamins A and C. Among HGPS-like patients, several deleted prelamin A transcripts (prelamin AΔ50, AΔ35 and AΔ90) have been described. The purpose of this work was to characterize those transcripts in eight patients affected with HGP-like rare syndromes. When fibroblasts were available, the relationships between the presence and ratios of these transcripts and other parameters were studied, aiming to increase our understanding of genotype-phenotype relationships in HGPS-like patients. Altogether our results evidence that progerin accumulation is the major pathogenetic mechanism responsible for HGP-like syndromes due to mutations near the donor splice site of exon 11.
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