The role of the nuclear lamina in cancer and apoptosis

Jos Broers*, Frans Ramaekers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


Not long after the discovery of lamin proteins, it became clear that not all lamin subtypes are ubiquitously expressed in cells and tissues. Especially, A-type lamins showed an inverse correlation with proliferation and were thus initially called statins. Here we compare the findings of both A-and B-type lamin expression in various normal tissues and their neoplastic counterparts. Based on immunocytochemistry it becomes clear that lamin expression patterns are much more complicated than initially assumed: while normally proliferative cells are devoid of A-type lamin expression, many neoplastic tissues do show prominent A-type lamin expression. Conversely, cells that do not proliferate can be devoid of lamin expression. Yet, within the different types of tissues and tumors, lamins can be used to distinguish between tumor subtypes. The link between the appearance of A-type lamins in differentiation and the appearance of A-type lamins in a tumor likely relates the proliferative capacity of the tumor to its differentiation state.While lamins are targets for degradation in the apoptotic process, and accordingly are often used as markers for apoptosis, intriguing studies on an active role of lamins in the initiation or the prevention of apoptosis have been published recently and give rise to a renewed interest in the role of lamins in cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCancer Biology and the nuclear envelope. Advances in experimental medicine and biology
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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