Fibroblasts derived from Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) patients and dermal cells derived from healthy old humans in culture display age-dependent progressive changes in nuclear architecture due to accumulation of farnesylated lamin A. Treating human HGPS cells or mice expressing farnesylated lamin A with farnesyl transferase inhibitors (FTIs) reverses nuclear phenotypes and extends lifespan. Aging adult Caenorhabditis elegans show changes in nuclear architecture resembling those seen in HGPS fibroblasts, as well as a decline in motility, phenotypes which are also inhibited by the FTI gliotoxin. However, it was not clear whether these effects were due to loss of farnesylation or to side effects of this drug. Here, we used a different FTI, manumycin or downregulated polyprenyl synthetase with RNAi to test the roles of farnesylation in C. elegans aging. Our results show that the age-dependent changes in nuclear morphology depend on farnesylation. We also demonstrate that inhibition of farnesylation does not affect motility or lifespan, suggesting that the effects of blocking protein prenylation on nuclear morphology could be separated from their effects on motility and lifespan. These results provide further understanding of the role of lamin and farnesylation in the normal aging process and in HGPS.
- Farnesyl transferase inhibitor
- Nuclear structure
- Nucleau envelope