Decades of studies have established that nuclear lamin polymers form the nuclear lamina, a protein meshwork that supports the nuclear envelope structure and tethers heterochromatin to the nuclear periphery. Much less is known about unpolymerized nuclear lamins in the nuclear interior, some of which are now known to undergo specific phosphorylation. A recent finding that phosphorylated lamins bind gene enhancer regions offers a new hypothesis that lamin phosphorylation may influence transcriptional regulation in the nuclear interior. In this review, we discuss the regulation, localization, and functions of phosphorylated lamins. We summarize kinases that phosphorylate lamins in a variety of biological contexts. Our discussion extends to laminopathies, a spectrum of degenerative disorders caused by lamin gene mutations, such as cardiomyopathies and progeria. We compare the prevailing hypothesis for laminopathy pathogenesis based on lamins' function at the nuclear lamina with an emerging hypothesis based on phosphorylated lamins' function in the nuclear interior.
Keywords: Nuclear lamin; c-Jun; cardiomyopathies; cdk1; chromatin; chromosome; enhancer; farnesylation; interphase; lamin A/C; lamina-associated domain; laminopathies; lmna; mitosis; muscular dystrophy; nuclear interior; phosphorylation; progeria.