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Int Rev Cytol. 1995;162B:141-82.

The dynamic properties and possible functions of nuclear lamins.

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Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.


The nuclear lamins are thought to form a thin fibrous layer called the nuclear lamina, underlying the inner nuclear envelope membrane. In this review, we summarize data on the dynamic properties of nuclear lamins during the cell cycle and during development. We discuss the implications of dynamics for lamin functions. The lamins may be involved in DNA replication, chromatin organization, differentiation, nuclear structural support, and nuclear envelope reassembly. Emphasis is placed on recent data that indicate that the lamina, contrary to previous views, is not a static structure. For example, the lamins form nucleoplasmic foci, distinct from the peripheral lamina, which vary in their patterns of distribution as well as their composition in a cell cycle-dependent manner. During the S phase, these foci colocalize with chromatin and sites of DNA replication. At other points during the cell cycle, they may represent sites of lamin post-translation processing that take place prior to incorporation into the lamina. Secondary modifications of the lamins such as isoprenylation and phosphorylation are involved in the regulation of the dynamic properties and the assembly of lamins. In addition, a number of lamin-associated proteins have been recently identified and these are described along with their potential functions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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