Find information on thousands of medical conditions and prescription drugs.

Werner's syndrome

Werner syndrome is a very rare, autosomal recessive disorder whose most recognizable characteristic is premature aging. Werner's syndrome more closely resembles "accelerated aging" than any other "segmental progeria". For this reason, Werner syndrome is often referred to as a progeroid syndrome, as it partly mimics the symptoms of Progeria. The defect is on a gene that codes DNA helicase and it is located on the short arm of the 8th chromosome. As a result DNA replication is impaired in this syndrome. This condition is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern. more...

Waardenburg syndrome
Wagner's disease
WAGR syndrome
Wallerian degeneration
Warkany syndrome
Watermelon stomach
Wegener's granulomatosis
Weissenbacher Zweymuller...
Werdnig-Hoffmann disease
Werner's syndrome
Whipple disease
Whooping cough
Willebrand disease
Willebrand disease, acquired
Williams syndrome
Wilms tumor-aniridia...
Wilms' tumor
Wilson's disease
Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome
Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome
Wolfram syndrome
Wolman disease
Wooly hair syndrome
Worster-Drought syndrome
Writer's cramp


Individuals with this syndrome typically grow and develop normally until they reach puberty. Following puberty, they age rapidly, so that by the time they reach age 40 they often appear as though they are several decades older. The age of onset of Werner syndrome is variable, but an early sign is the lack of a teenage growth spurt, which results in short stature. Other signs and symptoms appear when affected individuals are in their twenties or thirties and include loss and graying of hair, hoarseness, thickening of the skin, and cloudy lenses (cataracts) in both eyes. Overall, people affected by Werner syndrome have thin arms and legs and a thick trunk. Affected individuals typically have a characteristic facial appearance described as "bird-like" by the time they reach their thirties. Patients with Werner sydrome also exhibit genomic instability, hypogonadism, and various age-associated disorders; these include cancer, heart disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, and cataracts. However, not all characteristics of old-age are present in Werner patients; for instance, senility is not seen in individuals with Werner syndrome. People affected by Werner syndrome usually live into their late forties or early fifties, death often result from cancer or heart disease.


Werner syndrome is an exceedingly rare disorder, with some estimates suggesting that it afflicts approximately 1 in 1,000,000 individuals worldwide. Werner syndrome is estimated to affect 1 in 200,000 individuals in the United States. In Japan, the syndrome occurs more often, affecting between 1 in 20,000 and 1 in 40,000 people.


In 1996 the gene responsible for Werner syndrome was identified (and named WRN) and found to be a member of the RecQ family of helicases. Other members of this family include the genes responsible for Bloom syndrome (BLM gene), and a subset of Rothmund-Thomson (RECQ4 gene) patients. The Werner protein is thought to perform several tasks in the cell, including the maintenance and repair of DNA. It also assists in making copies of DNA in preparation for cell division. Mutations in the WRN gene often lead to the production of an abnormally short Werner protein. Some research suggests that this shortened protein is not sent to the nucleus, where it normally interacts with DNA. Evidence also suggests that the altered protein is broken down quickly in the cell, leading to a loss of Werner protein function

Research into the biological role of the WRN protein is ongoing, but current evidence strongly suggests a role for WRN in the resolution of Holliday junctions. Roles in non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) and the restoration of stalled replication forks have also been suggested.


[List your site here Free!]

The premature ageing syndromes: insights into the ageing process - United Kingdom
From Age and Ageing, 1/1/98 by Christopher A.E. Dyer

Keywords: age-related disease, Cockayne's syndrome, Hutchinson-Gilford progeria, premature ageing syndromes, senescence-accelerated mouse, Werner's syndrome


Ageing in man results from a complex interaction of genetic and environmental factors. Many overlapping and sometimes conflicting theories of ageing exist and the emergence of a unified theory still seems unlikely. Experimental studies of senescence are difficult to design because of the variable effect of diseases and other extrinsic factors.

The syndromes of accelerated ageing have been proposed as models to simplify the analysis of the ageing process, by restricting the focus to a more definable area [1]. Research in this field may give an insight into the nature of the genes that play a role in ageing and help to separate the boundary between ageing and age-related disease. Furthermore, the association of various cancers and vascular pathologies in many of these conditions has allowed a better understanding of the genetic or intrinsic components of these important causes of premature death.

Several rare conditions exist in man that exhibit certain phenotypic characteristics associated with senescence. Often referred to as `segmental progeroid syndromes' [2], the most widely studied of these are Hutchinson-Gilford progeria, Werner's syndrome and Cockayne's syndrome, but the group also includes Bloom's syndrome, ataxia telangiectasia and Down's syndrome. Studies of these syndromes have focused on genetic and cytochemical analysis as well as descriptive approaches to tissue and organ changes. Recent identification of the gene responsible for Werner's syndrome has attracted widespread interest, and rapid developments in our understanding of the cytochemical basis of these diseases can be expected. Whilst Japan and the USA lead in terms of research output relating to these syndromes, European studies also make an important contribution. A recent Medline search revealed that between 1991 and 1995, the UK was the origin of one in five publications relating to the premature ageing syndromes within Europe.

This report is not intended to comprehensively review all aspects of these complex and fascinating conditions but rather to demonstrate the relevance of their study to the ageing process.

Theories of `normal' ageing

It is pertinent first to outline briefly current concepts of senescence. As our knowledge base has grown, we have learnt that certain processes, such as osteoporosis, which were once seen as inevitable consequences of intrinsic ageing, have several external risk factors which may be modifiable in many cases [3]. In attempting to define ageing, it is not possible to ignore the fact that older people do actually suffer from diseases and not just simple physiological inadequacy. Consequently, ageing may be regarded as a progressive decline in physiological response to stress, which would include physical and chemical insults, infections, tumours and trauma.

Excellent attempts at classifying the many theories of ageing have been made, such as that by Medvedev [4] (see Table 1). Evolutionary theories were established from the observation of species-specific maximal life spans. Most geneticists argue that the senescent phenotype is non-adaptive [5]; in other words, that ageing emerges as a by-product of gene action or because the effects of natural selection decline with age. Examples include Williams' antagonistic pleiotropic genes [6], in which genes which have a beneficial effect when expressed early in life may have a deleterious effect when expressed late in life, and Kirkwood's `disposable soma' theory [7], where somatic maintenance is optimized to the expected lifespan of the species. Martin argues that there are likely to be several thousand genes that play a role in the senescent phenotype, although it is probable that relatively few of these have a major impact [2]. Support for genetic variability in longevity comes from the observation that late-egg-laying Drosophila have a lifespan that is a mean 20 days more than early-laying flies [8, 9]. Therefore, understanding the role of single gene mutations on the ageing process, from study of conditions such as Werner's syndrome, could yield valuable information.

Adapted from Medvedev (Biol Rev 1990; 65: 375-398) [4] and Sweeney and Weiss (Gerontology 1992; 38: 139-52) [25].

The role of oxidants in senescence was originally proposed by Harman in 1956 [10] and, subsequently, processes such as damage to DNA bases, mutagenesis and lipid peroxidation have been shown to ensue from free radical attack [11]. Oxidative damage is a continuous process in all human tissues and may be ameliorated by a variety of repair mechanisms, such as the enzyme superoxide dismutase. The effectiveness of the free radical repair system is therefore likely to be of importance in determining the aged phenotype.

Research in cellular ageing and Werner's syndrome has often focused on the lifespan of cells (usually fibroblasts) in vitro, to determine the classic `Hayflick limit' first described in 1961 [12], showing that cells have only a limited capacity to replicate in vitro. The mechanisms for this, such as loss of length of telomeres (the repetitive DNA sequences located at the ends of linear chromosomes) have been highlighted in an excellent review by Hayflick himself [13].

In most tissues, cells are continually turning over and therefore only have a relatively short residence time, potentially limiting any damage that may result from processes such as endogenous oxidation. However Hayflick also demonstrated that older cells have fewer replicative cycles than younger cells [14], which would increase their residence time and potentially permit greater oxidative damage. Presumably stem cells, believed to exist in most tissues and the non-dividing post-mitotic cells, such as neurons, muscle cells and fat cells may be the most susceptible to this type of damage. Cell culture techniques have limited observations to mainly one cell type and studies are of disproportionately long duration. However, the absence of endocrine and other regulatory influences renders cells autonomous, making it possible to form correlations between biochemical defects and postulated ageing processes without these external influences.

Clinical features of the premature ageing syndromes

Table 2 lists the main characteristics of a selection of progeroid syndromes, some of which are marked by clinical heterogeneity.

*, present; [], absent; -, not reported.

(a) Other premature ageing syndromes include Rothmund-Thompson syndrome, myotonic dystrophy, Down's syndrome, familial Alzheimer's disease, Wiedemann-Rautenstrauch syndrome and acrogeria.

Adapted from Mills and Weiss (Gerontology 1990; 36: 84-98) [1].

Progeria is a rare genetic disease, originally described by Johnathan Hutchinson in 1886 and Hastings Gilford in 1904, having a birth incidence of approximately 1 in 8 million and probably caused by a sporadic dominant mutation of unknown origin [ 1], although there is still some doubt about this. Affected individuals show several characteristics of accelerated ageing (Figure 1), exhibiting severe growth retardation in infancy, associated baldness, loss of subcutaneous tissue, eyebrows and eyelashes [15]. Skeletal abnormalities, including diffuse osteoporosis and resorption of distal phalanges are marked and sometimes predominate [16]. Intelligence is unaffected and most deaths are due to the consequences of severe atherosclerosis, particularly myocardial infarction and heart failure, which occurs in the early teenage years. However, other features typically associated with the ageing process, such as tumours, diabetes mellitus, neuronal changes and cataract formation, are seldom seen.


Werner's syndrome is an autosomal recessive disorder first described in 1904 and, with an estimated prevalence rate of 1-10 per million population, being more common in Japan and Sardinia. Unlike progeria, the phenotype is not usually apparent until the third or fourth decade--`progeria of the adult'. The most notable features include shortness of stature, a bird-like appearance with a beak shaped nose, premature loss and greying of hair, scleroderma-like skin changes and skin ulceration [17]. Osteoporosis and profound wasting of the limb musculature is characteristic. In contrast to progeria, conditions such as diabetes, cataracts and cancers of mesodermal origin are common, although death still usually results from a vascular origin at a median age of 47.

Other conditions also deserve attention as models for accelerated ageing. Cockayne's syndrome (Figure 2) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder [18] which usually becomes apparent around the second year of life (although onset in the first few months after birth has been described [19]) and was first described in 1936. It is characterized by growth retardation, skeletal and retinal abnormalities, progressive neurological degeneration and severe photosensitivity, although cancer rates are low. Patients may survive into their teens or early twenties. A review of 140 cases by Nance and Berry is extremely comprehensive [20]. Bloom's syndrome is characterized by severe pre- and postnatal growth deficiency, a sun-sensitive erythematous face, well-demarcated hyper- or hypopigmented skin lesions and variable immunodeficiency [21]. Cancer, chronic lung disease and diabetes mellitus are the main complications. Although rare, this condition, like ataxia telangiectasia, has been intensely studied, primarily to establish the genetic basis of various cancers.


Biochemical and cellular characteristics

Various avenues have been explored to establish the fundamental cellular defect in these syndromes. In progeria and Werner's syndrome most biochemical abnormalities are associated with connective tissue, principally of mesodermal origin. The most thoroughly investigated is the finding of 10-20 times greater urinary excretion of hyaluronic acid in patients with progeria compared with controls [22, 23]. Similar results have also been obtained in patients with Werner's syndrome [24]. Hyaluronic acid is an unsulphated glycosaminoglycan known to be involved in maintaining the integrity of skeletal, muscular and vascular systems.

Alterations in hyaluronic acid concentrations are linked to processes such as scleroderma-like skin changes, collagen hardening and calcification of arterial walls [25]. Brown found that hyaluronic acid levels increase with age in normal subjects [22] from around 1% of total glycosaminoglycan content to around 5-6% over the age of 70, possibly increasing further at very advanced ages. This compares with 10-20% of glycosaminoglycan content in Werner's syndrome [24]. Whether this is a primary or secondary phenomenon is not known, but hyaluronic acid excretion could be a consequence of mesodermal cells at the end of their replicative lifespan. It does seem unlikely, however, that all the complex changes associated with age are due to this one macromolecule. Indeed many other abnormalities, such as increased levels of elastin production at the protein and mRNA level in progeroid skin fibroblasts [26] and reduced decorin expression in Wiedemann-Rautenstrauch syndrome [27], have also been demonstrated. Plasma lipid concentrations increase with age and hypercholesterolaemia is a common finding in patients with Werner's syndrome [28], resulting in the accumulation of cholesterol esters which may contribute to atherosclerosis.

The relationship of changes in oxidative stress to the development of the premature ageing syndromes has not been explored in detail [11]. Cultured cells from patients with Werner's syndrome contain normal levels of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase [29] and the rate of lipid peroxidation is normal. Nevertheless, Oliver et al. have shown significantly higher levels of oxidatively modified proteins compared with age- and sex-matched controls [30] and in Bloom's syndrome superoxide dismutase activity is two to three times higher than expected [31]. Down's syndrome demonstrates many of the important physical features of a premature ageing syndrome and has been regarded as a `segmental progeroid' syndrome by Martin [32]. Recent reports suggest free radical involvement in the pathogenesis of this condition. Superoxide dismutase activity has been shown to be increased in fibroblast cell lines derived from patients with Down's syndrome [33], and superoxide dismutase overexpression with a paradoxical increase in hydrogen peroxide (and subsequently hydroxyl radical) formation has been proposed by Ceballos-Picot et al. [34] as a possible mechanism for cerebral toxicity in Down's syndrome. These authors developed transgenic mice that expressed high levels of human copper-zinc superoxide dismutase which led to higher levels of lipid peroxidation in transgenic brains compared with controls.

Based on a variety of physiological and biochemical similarities, diabetes mellitus has also been proposed as a model of premature ageing [35, 36]. These include impairment of cognitive performance, decreased blood-brain barrier transport of glucose and choline, increases in collagen cross-links in skin, dura and tendon and increased capillary basement membrane thickening [37]. Abnormalities of oxidative stress have been increasingly recognized in this metabolic disorder and include both increased plasma lipid peroxidation and reduced antioxidant protection, particularly ascorbate [38], providing additional but indirect support for free radicals playing a role in the morphological changes accompanying ageing.

The enormous variety of biochemical changes that occur in these syndromes clearly lend support to the ageing theories based on physiological deterioration and primary damage.

Genetic and chromosomal abnormalities

Cultured fibroblasts from patients with progeria and Werner's syndrome show a markedly reduced potential for in vitro growth and have a shorter replicative life span compared with control cultures [39]. Kill and colleagues, using antibodies that identify proliferating cells only, confirmed that the rate of loss of replicating cells in Werner's syndrome is increased five- to six-fold compared with normal human fibroblasts [40]. The cell cycle defect appears to be due to impaired S-phase transit [41] and decreased expression of regulators such as platelet-derived growth factor/3-receptors may be partially responsible [42]. However not all features correlate with normal ageing; for example, expression of the c-fos proto-oncogene, essential for cell proliferation, appears to be preserved in Werner's syndrome fibroblasts unlike normal senescing cells [43]. In contrast to Werner's syndrome and progeria, cells from patients with Cockayne's and Down's syndromes do not show a defect in replicative capacity and neural defects predominate in these syndromes, possibly as a result of oxidative damage to these post-mitotic cells.

One problem in cell culture work in progeroid syndromes is that due to the short replicative lifespan of these cells, fibroblasts are often immortalized by viral transformation so that they can be adequately studied. Although this raises questions about the validity of findings from these abnormal cells and whether they can be extrapolated to the behaviour of cells in vivo, they have nevertheless provided highly valuable information pertinent to the ageing process.

Recently, an exciting development has been the identification of the gene defect responsible for Werner's syndrome on chromosome 8 [44]. The gene has seven different domains and different types of mutation have been found in different ethnic groups. The significance of this finding is that the gene resembles DNA helicase, implying that defective DNA metabolism is the principal cause of the condition. Reduced DNA repair ability has also been proposed in cells from progeria patients [45]. DNA helicase uncoils DNA for a variety of replicative, transcriptional and repair processes, with failure resulting in increased genomic instability. Werner's syndrome cells exhibit a variety of chromosomal aberrations, including reciprocal translocations, deletions and inversions [46]. Mutation rates (mainly deletions) at the HPRT locus in Werner's syndrome are increased by 10-fold or more [47].

Similar patterns of chromosomal instability have been found in other premature ageing syndromes, such as Bloom's syndrome where chromosomal breaks are readily apparent [48]. These patients are homozygous for the BLM gene on the long arm of chromosome 15, which has also been recently shown to encode a DNA helicase [49]. Thus, the occurrence of higher rates of malignancy in this condition and Werner's syndrome are likely to be due to chromosomal abnormalities resulting from reduced cell cycle regulation [50].

Cells from patients with ataxia telangiectasia show spontaneous chromosomal instability and are hypersensitive to the effects of ionizing radiation, exposing patients to a variety of cancers. The gene defect may result in failure to monitor DNA damage and activate DNA repair resulting in accumulation of genomic damage and consequent cell death [51]. However, Cockayne's syndrome, also associated with abnormalities of DNA repair (nucleotide excision damage), does not predispose to cancer [20], although fibroblasts are known to be hypersensitive to the cytotoxic effects of LTV light. Venema and colleagues demonstrated that the genetic defect in Cockayne's syndrome is associated with inefficient repair of ultraviolet-induced DNA damage in transcriptionally active DNA rather than inactive genomic sequences [52], resulting in relatively normal somatic cell mutation frequencies which may explain the low cancer rates [53].

Therefore, many of these syndromes do support the hypothesis that at a DNA level, ageing results, in part, from an imbalance between DNA damage and repair, in some cases causing such severe chromosomal aberrations that malignant transformation occurs. Genomic and particularly mitochondrial DNA in normal subjects is continuously exposed to high levels of oxidative damage and a critical delay in repair has been suggested as playing a key role in cell senescence [54]. So, genetic theories of ageing and theories of primary damage can be viewed as not being mutually exclusive, but as part of a much more complicated interaction of internal and external factors.

The place of telomeres in this process has not yet been fully established. Telomeres are the repetitive DNA sequences (TTAGGG) at the end of linear chromosomes which circumvent the inability of DNA polymerase to completely replicate chromosomal ends. The observation that telomere length of somatic chromosomes progressively declines with increasing age and that progeria cells have short telomeres lends support to the idea of a cellular `clock', preventing further replication at a critically reduced length and therefore allowing DNA damage to occur unrepaired [55].

Other models of ageing--the senescence-accelerated mouse model

Animal studies remain a further experimental approach to the investigation of biological ageing and these have concentrated on characterizing changes in morphology and function with normal ageing or contrasting differences in longevity among species [56].

The senescence-accelerated mouse model (variant SAM-P/8), developed by Takeda and colleagues [57], shows early onset and rapid advancement of senescence revealed by analysis of ageing dynamics such as Gompertz function and survival curves and exhibits a significant age-related deterioration of memory and learning abilities. The fact that this model ages quickly (average lifespan is 12 months--less than 50% of the average lifespan of a moderately long-lived mouse strain) allows investigators to generate life tables rapidly and creates opportunities for ageing intervention studies to be undertaken. Evidence to support the use of the senescence-accelerated mouse model as a valid one for research on effects of ageing includes the development of `age-dependent' geriatric disorders such as osteoporosis, degenerative joint disease, cataract and hearing impairment.

However, despite the obvious value of animal models, such as the senescence-accelerated mouse, in studying particular aspects of ageing, some concerns have been raised as to their relevance to the `normal' ageing process. In addition, accelerated ageing may be controlled by only a few genes whereas normal ageing may be influenced by many more. Therefore, short-lived strains may not display the wide range of clinical features seen in a normal ageing population. Senescence-accelerated mice, for instance, show a much lower rate of thymic lymphoma than normal mice.


Substantial progress has been made over the last few years in our understanding of the genetic and cellular abnormalities of the progeroid syndromes, especially Werner's syndrome. There are clearly many similarities to the `normal' ageing process, but also some differences. Reduced cellular replication and impaired DNA repair may result in increased oxidative damage, chromosomal abnormalities and malignancy in these syndromes. All of these are features associated with `normal' ageing. However phenotypic expression of senescence in these diseases varies, due to the differing effects of single gene defects, rather than the involvement of multiple gene loci in the normal ageing process. We must accept that the complex and variable nature of ageing limits the use of any one disease as a model of `global' ageing. Yet it is exactly the segmental nature of these conditions which has provided the opportunity for scientists to study a specific sector of the ageing process.

Further areas of research will involve understanding the precise role of DNA helicase in these conditions, unravelling the telomere hypothesis and the identification of progeroid heterozygotes who may have higher cancer risks than normal.


The authors are grateful for the valuable comments of Sydney Shall of the University of Sussex and Michael Patton of St George's Hospital, London, in the preparation of this manuscript.

Key points

* Since the complex interaction of diseases and other external environmental factors makes it difficult to design experimental studies of ageing, the premature ageing syndromes have been advanced as models of ageing.

* These conditions are characterized by a number of features (such as vascular pathology, cataracts, skin changes and increased cancer rates)--although not all features typically associated with ageing are present in all cases.

* Research in this field allows insight into the nature of the genes that have a role in ageing and helps to separate the boundary between ageing and age-related disease.


[1.] Mills RG, Weiss AS. Does progeria provide the best model of accelerated ageing in humans? Gerontology 1990; 36: 84-98.

[2.] Martin GM. Genetic modulation of the senescent phenotype in homo sapiens. Genome 1989; 31: 390-97.

[3.] Reeve J, Zanelli JM. Mechanisms of osteoporosis. Recent Adv Endocrinol Metab 1992; 4:115-32.

[4.] Medvedev ZA. An attempt at a rational classification of theories of ageing. Biol Rev 1990; 65: 375-398.

[5.] Kirkwood TBL. Comparative and evolutionary aspects of longevity. In: Finch CE, Schneider EL eds. Handbook of the Biology of Ageing, 2nd ed. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985.

[6.] Williams GC. Pleiotropy, natural selection and the evolution of senescence. Evolution 1957; 11: 398-411.

[7.] Kirkwood TBL. Evolution of ageing. Nature 1977; 270:301-4.

[8.] Luckinbill LS, Clare MJ. Selection for lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster. Heredity 1985; 55: 9-18.

[9.] Fukui HH, Pletcher SD, Curtsinger J. Selection for increased longevity in Drosophila melanogaster: a response to Baret and Lints. Gerontology 1995; 41: 65-68.

[10.] Harman D. Aging: a theory based on free radical radiation chemistry. J Gerontol 1956; 11: 298-300.

[11.] Poot M. Oxidants and antioxidants in proliferative senescence. Mutation Res 1991; 256: 177-89.

[12.] Hayflick L, Moorhead PS. The serial cultivation of human diploid cell strains. Exp Cell Res 1961; 25; 585-62.

[13.] Hayflick L. Aspects of cellular aging. Rev Clin Gerontol 1993; 3: 207-22.

[14.] Hayflick L. The limited in vitro lifespan of human diploid cell strains. Exp Cell Res 1965; 37: 614-36.

[15.] Brown WT. Progeria: a human disease model of accelerated ageing. Am J Clin Nutr 1992; 55: 1222S-4S.

[16.] Ho A, White SJ, Rasmussen JE. Skeletal abnormalities of acrogeria, a progeroid syndrome. Skeletal Radiol 1987; 16: 463-8.

[17.] Goto M, Kiyoaki T, Horiuchi Y, Sasazuki T. Family analysis of Werner's syndrome: a survey of 42 Japanese families, with a review of the literature. Clin Genet 1981; 19: 8-15.

[18.] Cockayne EA. Dwarfism with retinal atrophy and deafness. Arch Dis Child 1936; 11: 1-8.

[19.] Patton MA, Gianelli E Francis AJ et al. Early onset Cockayne's syndrome: case reports with neuropathological and fibroblast studies. J Med Genet 1989; 26: 154-159.

[20.] Nance MA, Berry SA. Cockayne syndrome: review of 140 cases. Am J Med Genet 1992; 42: 68-84.

[21.] German J. Bloom's syndrome. Dermatol Clin 1995; 13: 7-18.

[22.] Zebrower M, Kieras FJ, Brown WT. Urinary hyaluronic acid elevation in Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. Mech Ageing Dev 1986; 35: 39-46.

[23.] Tonunaga M, Wakamatsu E, Soto K et al. Hyaluronuria in a case of progeria (Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome). J Am Geriatr Soc 1978; 26: 296-302.

[24.] Goto M, Murata K. Urinary excretion of macromolecular acidic glycosaminoglycans in Werner's syndrome. Clin Chim Acta 1978; 85: 101-6.

[25.] Sweeney KJ, Weiss AS. Hyaluronic acid in progeria and the aged phenotype. Gerontology 1992; 38: 139-52.

[26.] Sephel GC, Sturrock A, Giro MG, Davidson JM. Increased elastin production by progeria skin fibroblasts is controlled by the steady-state levels of elastin RNA. J Invest Dermatol 1988; 90: 643-7.

[27.] Beavan LA, Quentin-Hoffmann E, Schonherr E et al. Deficient expression of decorin in infantile progeroid patients. J Biol Chem 1993; 13: 9856-62.

[28.] Saito Y. Receptor function of low-density lipoproteins in Werner's syndrome. Gerontology 1991; 37: 48-55.

[29.] Marklund S, Nordensson I, Back O. Normal Cuzn superoxide dismutase, in superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase in Werner's syndrome. J Gerontol 1981; 36: 405-9.

[30.] Oliver CN, Ahn BW, Moerman EJ, Goldstein S, Stadtman ER. Age related changes in oxidized proteins. J Biol Chem 1987; 262: 5488-91.

[31.] Nicotera TM, Block AW, Gibas Z, Sandberg AA. Elevated superoxide dismutase in Bloom's syndrome: a condition of oxidative stress. Cancer Res 1989; 49: 5239- 5243.

[32.] Martin GM. Genetic syndromes in man with potential relevance to the pathology of aging. In: Bergsma D, Harrison DE eds. Genetic Effects on Aging. New York: Alan R Liss Inc, 5-39.

[33.] Zemlan F, Thienhaus OJ, Bosmann HB. Superoxide dismutase activity in Alzlkeimer's disease: possible mechanism for paired helical filament formation. Brain Res 1989; 476: 160-162.

[34.] Ceballos-Picot I, Nicole A, Briand P et al. Neuronal-specific expression of human copper-zinc superoxide dismutase gene in transgenic mice: animal model of gene dosage effects in Down's syndrome. Brain Res 1991; 552: 198-214.

[35.] Shagan BP. Is diabetes a model of aging? Med Clin N Am 1976; 60: 1209-1230.

[36.] Cerami A. Hypothesis: glucose as a mediator of aging. J Am Geriatr Soc 1985; 33: 626-34.

[37.] Mooradian AD. Tissue specificity of premature aging in diabetes mellitus. J Am Geriatr Soc 1988; 36: 831-9.

[38.] Sinclair AJ, Lunec J. Free radicals, oxidative stress and diabetes mellitus. In: Blake D, Winyard PG eds. Immunopharmacology of Free Radical Species. London: Academic Press, 1995; 183-198.

[39.] Martin GM, Sprague CA, Epstein CJ. Replicative life-span of cultivated human cells: effects of donor's age, tissue and genotype. Lab Invest 1970; 23: 86-92.

[40.] Kill I, Faragher RGA, Lawrence K, Shall S. The expression of proliferation dependent antigens during the lifespan of normal and progeroid human fibroblasts in culture. J Cell Sci 1994; 107: 571-9.

[41.] Poot M, Hoehn H, Runger TM, Martin GM. Impaired S-phase transit of Werner's syndrome cells expressed in lymphoblastoid cell lines. Exp Cell Res 1992; 202: 267-73.

[42.] Mori S, Kawano M, Kanzaki T, Morisaki N, Saito Y, Yoshida S. Decreased expression of the platelet derived growth factor beta-receptor in fibroblasts from a patient with Werner's syndrome. Eur J Clin Invest 1993; 23: 161-5.

[43.] Oshima J, Campisi J, Tannock TC, Martin GM. Regulation of c-fos expression in senescing Werner syndrome fibroblasts differs from that observed in senescing fibroblasts from normal donors. J Cell Physiol 1995; 162: 277-83.

[44.] Yu CE, Oshima J, Fu YH et al. Positional cloning of the Werner's syndrome gene. Science 1996; 272: 258-62.

[45.] Wang S, Nishigori C, Yagi T et al. Reduced DNA repair in progeria cells and effects of-y-ray irradiation on UV-induced unscheduled DNA synthesis in normal and progeria cells. Mutation Res 1991; 256: 59-61.

[46.] Hoehn H, Bryant EM, Au K et al. Variegated translocational mosaicism in human skin fibroblast cultures. Cytogene Cell Genet 1975; 15: 282-98.

[47.] Fukuchi KI, Martin GM, Monnat R, Jr. Mutator phenotype of Werner syndrome is characterised by excessive deletions. Proc Natl Acad Sci 1989; 86: 5893-7.

[48.] German J. Bloom's syndrome. Medicine 1995; 13: 7-18.

[49.] Ellis NA, Groden J, Ye TZ. The Bloom's syndrome gene product is homologous to Rec Q helicases. Cell 1995; 83: 655-6.

[50.] Tisty TD, Briot A, Gualberto A et al. Genomic instability and cancer. Mutation Res 1995; 337: 1-7.

[51.] Meyn MS. Ataxia-telangiectasia and cellular responses to DNA damage. Cancer Res 1995; 55:5991-6001.

[52.] Venema J, Mullenders LHE Natarajan AT et al. The genetic defect in Cockayne's syndrome is associated with a defect in repair of UV-induced DNA damage in transcriptionally active DNA. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1990; 87: 4707-11.

[53.] Lin Y-W, Kubota M, Hirota H et al. Somatic cell mutation frequency at the HPRT, t-cell antigen receptor and glycophorin A loci in Cockayne syndrome. Mutation Res 1995; 337: 49-55.

[54.] Bohr VA, Anson RM. DNA damage, mutation and fine structure DNA repair in aging. Mutation Res 1995; 338: 25-34.

[55.] Allsopp RC, Vaziri H, Patterson C et al. Telomere length predicts replicative capacity of human fibroblasts. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1992; 89: 1014-8.

[56.] Weindruch R. Animal models. In: Masoro EJ ed. Handbook of Physiology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995: 37-52.

[57.] Takeda T, Hoskawa M, Higuchi K. Senescence-accelerated mouse (SAM): a novel murine model of accelerated senescence. J Am Geriatr Soc 1991; 39:911-9.

Christopher A. E. Dyer, Aln J. Sinclair

Academic Department of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, University of Birmingham, The Hayward Building Selly Oak Hospital, Raddlebarn Road, Birmingham, B29 6JD, UK

Address correspondence to: A. J. Sinclair: Fax: (+44) 121 627 8304

COPYRIGHT 1998 Oxford University Press
COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group

Return to Werner's syndrome
Home Contact Resources Exchange Links ebay