Lamins: building blocks or regulators of gene expression?

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2002 Nov;3(11):848-58. doi: 10.1038/nrm950.


Intermediate filament (IF) proteins are the building blocks of cytoskeletal filaments, the main function of which is to maintain cell shape and integrity. The lamins are thought to be the evolutionary progenitors of IF proteins and they have profound influences on both nuclear structure and function. These influences require the lamins to have dynamic properties and dual identities--as building blocks and transcriptional regulators. Which one of these identities underlies a myriad of genetic diseases is a topic of intense debate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / physiopathology
  • Cell Nucleus / physiology
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease / physiopathology
  • DNA Replication / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lamins / genetics
  • Lamins / physiology*
  • Lipodystrophy / physiopathology
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Emery-Dreifuss / genetics
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Emery-Dreifuss / physiopathology
  • Nuclear Envelope / physiology
  • Nuclear Lamina / physiology
  • Nuclear Pore / physiology
  • Transcription, Genetic / physiology


  • Lamins