When lamins go bad: nuclear structure and disease.
ABSTRACT Mutations in nuclear lamins or other proteins of the nuclear envelope are the root cause of a group of phenotypically diverse genetic disorders known as laminopathies, which have symptoms that range from muscular dystrophy to neuropathy to premature aging syndromes. Although precise disease mechanisms remain unclear, there has been substantial progress in our understanding of not only laminopathies, but also the biological roles of nuclear structure. Nuclear envelope dysfunction is associated with altered nuclear activity, impaired structural dynamics, and aberrant cell signaling. Building on these findings, small molecules are being discovered that may become effective therapeutic agents.
Cell and Tissue Biology 07/2014; 8(4):292-298. DOI:10.1134/S1990519X14040026
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ABSTRACT: External forces play complex roles in cell organization, fate, and homeostasis. Changes in these forces, or how cells respond to them, can result in abnormal embryonic development and diseases in adults. How cells sense and respond to these mechanical stimuli requires an understanding of the biophysical principles that underlie changes in protein conformation and result in alterations in the organization and function of cells and tissues. Here, we discuss mechano-transduction as it applies to protein conformation, cellular organization, and multi-cell (tissue) function.PLoS Biology 11/2014; 12(11):e1001996. DOI:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001996 · 11.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The intermediate filament proteins, A- and B-type lamins, form the nuclear lamina scaffold adjacent to the inner nuclear membrane. B-type lamins confer elasticity, while A-type lamins lend viscosity and stiffness to nuclei. Lamins also contribute to chromatin regulation and various signaling pathways affecting gene expression. The mechanical roles of lamins and their functions in gene regulation are often viewed as independent activities, but recent findings suggest a highly cross-linked and interdependent regulation of these different functions, particularly in mechanosignaling. In this newly emerging concept, lamins act as a "mechanostat" that senses forces from outside and responds to tension by reinforcing the cytoskeleton and the extracellular matrix. A-type lamins, emerin, and the linker of the nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton (LINC) complex directly transmit forces from the extracellular matrix into the nucleus. These mechanical forces lead to changes in the molecular structure, modification, and assembly state of A-type lamins. This in turn activates a tension-induced "inside-out signaling" through which the nucleus feeds back to the cytoskeleton and the extracellular matrix to balance outside and inside forces. These functions regulate differentiation and may be impaired in lamin-linked diseases, leading to cellular phenotypes, particularly in mechanical load-bearing tissues. © 2015 Osmanagic-Myers et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.Genes & Development 02/2015; 29(3):225-237. DOI:10.1101/gad.255968.114 · 12.64 Impact Factor