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Nat Mater. 2015 Dec;14(12):1252-1261. doi: 10.1038/nmat4389. Epub 2015 Aug 24.

Differential basal-to-apical accessibility of lamin A/C epitopes in the nuclear lamina regulated by changes in cytoskeletal tension.

Author information

Laboratory of Applied Mechanobiology, Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
NeuroGroup, BioMediTech, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.
Contributed equally


Nuclear lamins play central roles at the intersection between cytoplasmic signalling and nuclear events. Here, we show that at least two N- and C-terminal lamin epitopes are not accessible at the basal side of the nuclear envelope under environmental conditions known to upregulate cell contractility. The conformational epitope on the Ig-domain of A-type lamins is more buried in the basal than apical nuclear envelope of human mesenchymal stem cells undergoing osteogenesis (but not adipogenesis), and in fibroblasts adhering to rigid (but not soft) polyacrylamide hydrogels. This structural polarization of the lamina is promoted by compressive forces, emerges during cell spreading, and requires lamin A/C multimerization, intact nucleoskeleton-cytoskeleton linkages (LINC), and apical-actin stress-fibre assembly. Notably, the identified Ig-epitope overlaps with emerin, DNA and histone binding sites, and comprises various laminopathy mutation sites. Our findings should help decipher how the physical properties of cellular microenvironments regulate nuclear events.

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