The nuclear envelope: Emerging roles in development and disease

M. F. Wolfner, K. L. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The chromosomes of eukaryotic cells are separated from the cytoplasm by the nuclear envelope. The nuclear envelope includes two riveted membranes, plus embedded pore complexes that mediate nuclear import and export. In this sense, the nuclear envelope is truly a border zone. However, the envelope also links directly to chromosomes, and anchors two major infrastructures -the nuclear lamina and Tpr filaments - to the nuclear perimeter. Proteins of the nuclear envelope mediate a variety of fundamental activities, including DNA replication, gene expression and silencing, chromatin organization, cell division, apoptosis, sperm nuclear remodeling, the behavior of pronuclei, cell fate determination, nuclear migration and cell polarity. Furthermore, mutations in nuclear lamins and lamin-binding proteins cause tissue-specific inherited diseases. This special issue of Cell and Molecular Life Sciences is devoted to recent major advances in the characterization of nuclear envelope proteins and their roles. We offer here an overview of the topics covered in this issue of CMLS, and also discuss the emerging recognition that the nuclear envelope is an organelle critical for a wide range of genetic and developmental activity in multicellular organisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1737-1740
Number of pages4
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number12-13
StatePublished - 2001


  • Apoptosis
  • Cell cycle
  • Development
  • Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy
  • Fertilization
  • Germ cells
  • Nuclear lamins
  • Nuclear membranes
  • Nuclear migration
  • Nuclear pore complexes
  • Nucleocytoplasmic transport
  • Plant nuclear envelope
  • Ran

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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