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FEBS J. 2007 Mar;274(6):1354-61.

The nuclear lamina. Both a structural framework and a platform for genome organization.

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Centre for Cell and Chromosome Biology, Division of Biosciences, Brunel University, London, UK.


The inner face of the nuclear envelope of metazoan cells is covered by a thin lamina consisting of a one-layered network of intermediate filaments interconnecting with a complex set of transmembrane proteins and chromatin associating factors. The constituent proteins, the lamins, have recently gained tremendous recognition, because mutations in the lamin A gene, LMNA, are the cause of a complex group of at least 10 different diseases in human, including the Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. The analysis of these disease entities has made it clear that besides cytoskeletal functions, the lamina has an important role in the "behaviour" of the genome and is, probably as a consequence of this function, intimately involved in cell fate decisions. Furthermore, these functions are related to the involvement of lamins in organizing the position and functional state of interphase chromosomes as well as to the occurrence of lamins and lamina-associated proteins within the nucleoplasm. However, the structural features of these lamins and the nature of the factors that assist them in genome organization present an exciting challenge to modern biochemistry and cell biology.

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