Recent findings that some 24 inherited diseases and anomalies are caused by defects in proteins of the NE (nuclear envelope) and lamina have resulted in a fundamental reassessment of the functions of the NE and underlying lamina. Instead of just regarding the NE and lamina as a molecular filtering device, regulating the transfer of macromolecules between the cytoplasm and nucleus, we now envisage the NE/lamina functioning as a key cellular ‘hub’ in integrating critical functions that include chromatin organization, transcriptional regulation, mechanical integrity of the cell and signalling pathways, as well as acting as a key component in the organization and function of the cytoskeleton.

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