Recently, mutations in the RNA polymerase III subunit A (POLR3A) have been described as the cause of the neonatal progeria or Wiedemann-Rautenstrauch syndrome (WRS). POLR3A has important roles in transcription regulation of small RNAs, including tRNA, 5S rRNA, and 7SK rRNA. We aim to describe the cellular and molecular features of WRS fibroblasts. Cultures of primary fibroblasts from one WRS patient [monoallelic POLR3A variant c.3772_3773delCT (p.Leu1258Glyfs*12)] and one control patient were cultured in vitro. The mutation caused a decrease in the expression of wildtype POLR3A mRNA and POLR3A protein and a sharp increase in mutant protein expression. In addition, there was an increase in the nuclear localization of the mutant protein. These changes were associated with an increase in the number and area of nucleoli and to a high increase in the expression of pP53 and pH2AX. All these changes were associated with premature senescence. The present observations add to our understanding of the differences between Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome and WRS and opens new alternatives to study cell senesce and human aging.
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