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The prolyl-isomerase PIN1 is essential for nuclear Lamin-B structure and function and protects heterochromatin under mechanical stress

  • Authors: Napoletano F.; Ferrari Bravo G.; Voto I.A.P.; Santin A.; Celora L.; Campaner E.; Dezi C.; Bertossi A.; Valentino E.; Santorsola M.; Rustighi A.; Fajner V.; Maspero E.; Ansaloni F.; Cancila V.; Valenti C.F.; Santo M.; Artimagnella O.B.; Finaurini S.; Gioia U.; Polo S.; Sanges R.; Tripodo C.; Mallamaci A.; Gustincich S.; d'Adda di Fagagna F.; Mantovani F.; Specchia V.; Del Sal G.
  • Publication year: 2021
  • Type: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Chromatin organization plays a crucial role in tissue homeostasis. Heterochromatin relaxation and consequent unscheduled mobilization of transposable elements (TEs) are emerging as key contributors of aging and aging-related pathologies, including Alzheimer's disease (AD) and cancer. However, the mechanisms governing heterochromatin maintenance or its relaxation in pathological conditions remain poorly understood. Here we show that PIN1, the only phosphorylation-specific cis/trans prolyl isomerase, whose loss is associated with premature aging and AD, is essential to preserve heterochromatin. We demonstrate that this PIN1 function is conserved from Drosophila to humans and prevents TE mobilization-dependent neurodegeneration and cognitive defects. Mechanistically, PIN1 maintains nuclear type-B Lamin structure and anchoring function for heterochromatin protein 1α (HP1α). This mechanism prevents nuclear envelope alterations and heterochromatin relaxation under mechanical stress, which is a key contributor to aging-related pathologies.