The Nuclear Envelope (NE) contains over 100 different proteins that associate with nuclear components such as chromatin, the lamina and the transcription machinery. Mutations in genes encoding NE proteins have been shown to result in tissue-specific defects and disease, suggesting cell-type specific differences in NE composition and function. Consistent with these observations, recent studies have revealed unexpected functions for numerous NE associated proteins during cell differentiation and development. Here we review the latest insights into the roles played by the NE in cell differentiation, development, disease and aging, focusing primarily on inner nuclear membrane (INM) proteins and nuclear pore components.
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