The eukaryotic nucleus controls most cellular processes. It is isolated from the cytoplasm by the nuclear envelope, which plays a prominent role in the structural organization of the cell, including nucleocytoplasmic communication, chromatin positioning, and gene expression. Alterations in nuclear composition and function are eminently pronounced upon stress and during premature and physiological aging. These alterations are often accompanied by epigenetic changes in histone modifications. We review, here, the role of nuclear envelope proteins and histone modifiers in the 3-dimensional organization of the genome and the implications for gene expression. In particular, we focus on the nuclear lamins and the chromatin-associated protein BAF, which are linked to Hutchinson-Gilford and Nestor-Guillermo progeria syndromes, respectively. We also discuss alterations in nuclear organization and the epigenetic landscapes during normal aging and various stress conditions, ranging from yeast to humans.
Keywords: HGPS; NGPS; chromatin; epigenetics; laminopathies; longevity; mitochondrial unfolded protein response; progeria; transcription..