Background: Ankrd2 is a stress responsive protein mainly expressed in muscle cells. Upon the application of oxidative stress, Ankrd2 translocates into the nucleus where it regulates the activity of genes involved in cellular response to stress. Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy 2 (EDMD2) is a muscular disorder caused by mutations of the gene encoding lamin A, LMNA. As well as many phenotypic abnormalities, EDMD2 muscle cells also feature a permanent basal stress state, the underlying molecular mechanisms of which are currently unclear. Methods: Experiments were performed in EDMD2-lamin A overexpressing cell lines and EDMD2-affected human myotubes. Oxidative stress was produced by H2O2 treatment. Co-immunoprecipitation, cellular subfractionation and immunofluorescence analysis were used to validate the relation between Ankrd2 and forms of lamin A; cellular sensibility to stress was monitored by the analysis of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) release and cell viability. Results: Our data demonstrate that oxidative stress induces the formation of a complex between Ankrd2 and lamin A. However, EDMD2-lamin A mutants were able to bind and mislocalize Ankrd2 in the nucleus even under basal conditions. Nonetheless, cells co-expressing Ankrd2 and EDMD2-lamin A mutants were more sensitive to oxidative stress than the Ankrd2-wild type lamin A counterpart. Conclusions: For the first time, we present evidence that in muscle fibers from patients affected by EDMD2, Ankrd2 has an unusual nuclear localization. By introducing a plausible mechanism ruling this accumulation, our data hint at a novel function of Ankrd2 in the pathogenesis of EDMD2-affected cells.

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