Background: Skeletal muscle disorders associated with mutations of lamin A/C gene include autosomal Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy and limb girdle muscular dystrophy 1B. The pathogenic mechanism underlying these diseases is unknown. Recent data suggest an impairment of signalling mechanisms as a possible cause of muscle malfunction. A molecular complex in muscle cells formed by lamin A/C, emerin, and nuclear actin has been identified. The stability of this protein complex appears to be related to phosphorylation mechanisms. Objective: To analyse lamin A/C phosphorylation in control and laminopathic muscle cells. Methods: Lamin A/C N-terminal phosphorylation was determined in cultured mouse myoblasts using a specific antibody. Insulin treatment of serum starved myoblast cultures was carried out to evaluate involvement of insulin signalling in the phosphorylation pathway. Screening of four Emery-Dreifuss and one limb girdle muscular dystrophy 1B cases was undertaken to investigate lamin A/C phosphorylation in both cultured myoblasts and mature muscle fibres. Results: Phosphorylation of lamin A was observed during myoblast differentiation or proliferation, along with reduced lamin A/C phosphorylation in quiescent myoblasts. Lamin A N-terminus phosphorylation was induced by an insulin stimulus, which conversely did not affect lamin C phosphorylation. Lamin A/C was also hyperphosphorylated in mature muscle, mostly in regenerating fibres. Lamin A/C phosphorylation was strikingly reduced in laminopathic myoblasts and muscle fibres, while it was preserved in interstitial fibroblasts. Conclusions: Altered lamin A/C interplay with a muscle specific phosphorylation partner might be involved in the pathogenic mechanism of Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy and limb girdle muscular dystrophy 1B.
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