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Biochem Soc Trans. 2011 Dec;39(6):1705-9. doi: 10.1042/BST20110603.

The nuclear lamina and heterochromatin: a complex relationship.

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Department of Genetics, Institute of Life Sciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91904, Israel.


In metazoan cells, the heterochromatin is generally localized at the nuclear periphery, whereas active genes are preferentially found in the nuclear interior. In the present paper, we review current evidence showing that components of the nuclear lamina interact directly with heterochromatin, which implicates the nuclear lamina in a mechanism of specific gene retention at the nuclear periphery and release to the nuclear interior upon gene activation. We also discuss recent data showing that mutations in lamin proteins affect gene positioning and expression, providing a potential mechanism for how these mutations lead to tissue-specific diseases.

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