The nuclear lamina consist of a two-dimensional matrix of proteins located next to the inner nuclear membrane. The lamin family of proteins make up the matrix and are highly conserved in evolution. During mitosis, the lamina matrix is reversibly disassembled as the lamin proteins are phosphorylated. Lamin proteins are thought to be involved in nuclear stability, chromatin structure and gene expression. Vertebrate lamins consist of two types, A and B. Through alternate splicing, this gene encodes three type A lamin isoforms.
Early in mitosis, MPF phosphorylates specific serine residues in all three nuclear lamins, causing depolymerization of the lamin intermediate filaments. The phosphorylated lamin B dimers remain associated with the nuclear membrane via their isoprenyl anchor. Lamin A is targeted to the nuclear membrane by an isoprenyl group but it is cleaved shortly after arriving at the membrane. It stays associated with the membrane through protein-protein interactions of itself and other membrane associated proteins, such as LAP1. Depolymerization of the nuclear lamins leads to disintegration of the nuclear envelope. Transfection experiments demonstrate that phosphorylation of human lamin A is required for lamin depolymerization, and thus for disassembly of the nuclear envelope, which normally occurs early in mitosis.
Biogenesis of lamin A in normal cells and the failure to generate mature lamin A in HGPS. In the setting of ZMPSTE24 deficiency, the final step of lamin processing does not occur, resulting in an accumulation of farnesyl-prelamin A. In HGPS, a 50-amino acid deletion in prelamin A (amino acids 607–656) removes the site for the second endoproteolytic cleavage. Consequently, no mature lamin A is formed, and a farnesylated mutant prelamin A (progerin) accumulates in cells. Coutinho et al. Immunity & Ageing 2009.
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