Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome is a genetic condition characterized by the dramatic, rapid appearance of aging beginning in childhood. Affected children typically look normal at birth and in early infancy, but then grow more slowly than other children and do not gain weight at the expected rate (failure to thrive). They develop a characteristic facial appearance including prominent eyes, a thin nose with a beaked tip, thin lips, a small chin, and protruding ears. Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome also causes hair loss (alopecia), aged-looking skin, joint abnormalities, and a loss of fat under the skin (subcutaneous fat). This condition does not affect intellectual development or the development of motor skills such as sitting, standing, and walking.
People with Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome experience severe hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis) beginning in childhood. This condition greatly increases the chances of having a heart attack or stroke at a young age. These serious complications can worsen over time and are life-threatening for affected individuals.
This condition is very rare; it is reported to occur in 1 in 4 million newborns worldwide. More than 130 cases have been reported in the scientific literature since the condition was first described in 1886.
Mutations in the LMNA gene cause Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. The LMNA gene provides instructions for making a protein called lamin A. This protein plays an important role in determining the shape of the nucleus within cells. It is an essential scaffolding (supporting) component of the nuclear envelope, which is the membrane that surrounds the nucleus. Mutations that cause Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome result in the production of an abnormal version of the lamin A protein. The altered protein makes the nuclear envelope unstable and progressively damages the nucleus, making cells more likely to die prematurely. Researchers are working to determine how these changes lead to the characteristic features of Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome.
Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome is considered an autosomal dominant condition, which means one copy of the altered gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the disorder. The condition results from new mutations in the LMNA gene, and almost always occurs in people with no history of the disorder in their family.
Other Names for This Condition
- Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome
- progeria of childhood
Additional Information & Resources
Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center
Research Studies from ClinicalTrials.gov
Catalog of Genes and Diseases from OMIM
Scientific Articles on PubMed
- De Sandre-Giovannoli A, Bernard R, Cau P, Navarro C, Amiel J, Boccaccio I, Lyonnet S, Stewart CL, Munnich A, Le Merrer M, Lévy N. Lamin a truncation in Hutchinson-Gilford progeria. Science. 2003 Jun 27;300(5628):2055. Epub 2003 Apr 17. Citation on PubMed
- Eriksson M, Brown WT, Gordon LB, Glynn MW, Singer J, Scott L, Erdos MR, Robbins CM, Moses TY, Berglund P, Dutra A, Pak E, Durkin S, Csoka AB, Boehnke M, Glover TW, Collins FS. Recurrent de novo point mutations in lamin A cause Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. Nature. 2003 May 15;423(6937):293-8. Epub 2003 Apr 25. Citation on PubMed
- Ghosh S, Zhou Z. Genetics of aging, progeria and lamin disorders. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2014 Jun;26:41-6. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2014.05.003. Epub 2014 Jul 6. Review. Citation on PubMed
- Goldman RD, Shumaker DK, Erdos MR, Eriksson M, Goldman AE, Gordon LB, Gruenbaum Y, Khuon S, Mendez M, Varga R, Collins FS. Accumulation of mutant lamin A causes progressive changes in nuclear architecture in Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Jun 15;101(24):8963-8. Epub 2004 Jun 7. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
- Gonzalez JM, Pla D, Perez-Sala D, Andres V. A-type lamins and Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome: pathogenesis and therapy. Front Biosci (Schol Ed). 2011 Jun 1;3:1133-46. Review. Citation on PubMed
- Gordon LB, Brown WT, Collins FS. Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome. 2003 Dec 12 [updated 2019 Jan 17]. In: Adam MP, Ardinger HH, Pagon RA, Wallace SE, Bean LJH, Mirzaa G, Amemiya A, editors. GeneReviews® [Internet]. Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993-2021. Available from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1121/ Citation on PubMed
- Halaschek-Wiener J, Brooks-Wilson A. Progeria of stem cells: stem cell exhaustion in Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2007 Jan;62(1):3-8. Review. Citation on PubMed
- Hennekam RC. Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome: review of the phenotype. Am J Med Genet A. 2006 Dec 1;140(23):2603-24. Review. Citation on PubMed
- Pollex RL, Hegele RA. Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. Clin Genet. 2004 Nov;66(5):375-81. Review. Citation on PubMed