Lamin A mutations cause many diseases, including cardiomyopathies and Progeria Syndrome. The covalent attachment of small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) polypeptides regulates the function of many proteins. Until now, no examples of human disease-causing mutations that occur within a sumoylation consensus sequence and alter sumoylation were known. We show that lamin A is sumoylated at lysine 201 and that two lamin A mutants associated with familial dilated cardiomyopathy, E203G and E203K, exhibit decreased sumoylation. E203 occupies the conserved +2 position in the sumoylation consensus Psi KXE. Lamin A mutants E203G, E203K, and K201R all exhibit a similar aberrant subcellular localization and are associated with increased cell death. Fibroblasts from an individual with the E203K lamin A mutation also exhibit decreased lamin A sumoylation and increased cell death. These results suggest that SUMO modification is important for normal lamin A function and implicate an involvement for altered sumoylation in the E203G/E203K lamin A cardiomyopathies.
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