Mechanics of nuclear membranes.


Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA [Email] [Email]


Cellular nuclei are bound by two uniformly separated lipid membranes that are fused with each other at numerous donut-shaped pores. These membranes are structurally supported by an array of distinct proteins with distinct mechanical functions. As a result, the nuclear envelope possesses unique mechanical properties, which enables it to resist cytoskeletal forces. Here, we review studies that are beginning to provide quantitative insights into nuclear membrane mechanics. We discuss how the mechanical properties of the fused nuclear membranes mediate their response to mechanical forces exerted on the nucleus and how structural reinforcement by different nuclear proteins protects the nuclear membranes against rupture. We also highlight some open questions in nuclear envelope mechanics, and discuss their relevance in the context of health and disease.


LINC complex,Membrane mechanics,Nuclear envelope,