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Nuclear Mechanics in Health and Disease

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The nucleus is one of the largest organelles in the cell. Nuclear positioning and shaping are key processes that enable cells to polarize during migration, and to migrate through narrow spaces in tissue. Given its size and rigidity, the cell transfers active mechanical forces generated in the cytoskeleton ...

The nucleus is one of the largest organelles in the cell. Nuclear positioning and shaping are key processes that enable cells to polarize during migration, and to migrate through narrow spaces in tissue. Given its size and rigidity, the cell transfers active mechanical forces generated in the cytoskeleton onto the nuclear surface. These forces are transmitted through linkages between the nucleus and the cytoskeleton mediated by the LINC complex (linker of nucleoskeleton to the cytoskeleton). The nuclear response to cytoskeletal forces is governed by the mechanical properties of its components including the nuclear lamina, chromatin, nuclear bodies, RNA and proteins. Mutations in LINC complex proteins, and in the nuclear lamins are found in diverse pathologies including laminopathies, lipodystrophies and cardiomyopathies. It is likely that abnormal nuclear forces and/or abnormal mechanical response of the nucleus to cytoskeletal forces are contributing factors to nuclear dysfunction and ultimately to disease.

Therefore, this Research Topic “nuclear mechanics in health and disease” is focused on understanding mechanical aspects of the integrated nucleo-cytoskeleton, and alterations found in disease.


Keywords: Chromatin, nuclear lamina, cytoskeleton, mechanical force, LINC complex


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