Dysmorphic nuclei are commonly seen in cancers and provide strong motivation for studying the main structural proteins of nuclei, the lamins, in cancer. Past studies have also demonstrated the significance of microenvironment mechanics to cancer progression, which is extremely interesting because the lamina was recently shown to be mechanosensitive. Here, we review current knowledge relating cancer progression to lamina biophysics. Lamin levels can constrain cancer cell migration in 3D and thereby impede tumor growth, and lamins can also protect a cancer cell's genome. In addition, lamins can influence transcriptional regulators (RAR, SRF, YAP/TAZ) and chromosome conformation in lamina associated domains. Further investigation of the roles for lamins in cancer and even DNA damage may lead to new therapies or at least to a clearer understanding of lamins as bio-markers in cancer progression.
Keywords: LADs; Nuclear lamina; SRF; YAP/TAZ; cancer; homeostasis; mechanotransduction.