Causes and consequences of nuclear envelope alterations in tumour progression

Emily S. Bell, Jan Lammerding

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Morphological changes in the size and shape of the nucleus are highly prevalent in cancer, but the underlying molecular mechanisms and the functional relevance remain poorly understood. Nuclear envelope proteins, which can modulate nuclear shape and organization, have emerged as key components in a variety of signalling pathways long implicated in tumourigenesis and metastasis. The expression of nuclear envelope proteins is altered in many cancers, and changes in levels of nuclear envelope proteins lamins A and C are associated with poor prognosis in multiple human cancers. In this review we highlight the role of the nuclear envelope in different processes important for tumour initiation and cancer progression, with a focus on lamins A and C. Lamin A/C controls many cellular processes with key roles in cancer, including cell invasion, stemness, genomic stability, signal transduction, transcriptional regulation, and resistance to mechanical stress. In addition, we discuss potential mechanisms mediating the changes in lamin levels observed in many cancers. A better understanding of cause-and-effect relationships between lamin expression and tumour progression could reveal important mechanisms for coordinated regulation of oncogenic processes, and indicate therapeutic vulnerabilities that could be exploited for improved patient outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-464
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean journal of cell biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


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