The Diverse Cellular Functions of Inner Nuclear Membrane Proteins

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2021 Sep 1;13(9):a040477. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a040477.


The nuclear compartment is delimited by a specialized expanded sheet of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) known as the nuclear envelope (NE). Compared to the outer nuclear membrane and the contiguous peripheral ER, the inner nuclear membrane (INM) houses a unique set of transmembrane proteins that serve a staggering range of functions. Many of these functions reflect the exceptional position of INM proteins at the membrane-chromatin interface. Recent research revealed that numerous INM proteins perform crucial roles in chromatin organization, regulation of gene expression, genome stability, and mediation of signaling pathways into the nucleus. Other INM proteins establish mechanical links between chromatin and the cytoskeleton, help NE remodeling, or contribute to the surveillance of NE integrity and homeostasis. As INM proteins continue to gain prominence, we review these advancements and give an overview on the functional versatility of the INM proteome.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Nuclear Envelope / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / metabolism


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • lamin B receptor