Mechanical model of blebbing in nuclear lamin meshworks

Chloe M. Funkhouser, Rastko Sknepnek, Takeshi Shimi, Anne E. Goldman, Robert D. Goldman, Monica Olvera De La Cruz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations

Abstract

Contributed by Monica Olvera de la Cruz, January 7, 2013 (sent for review November 26, 2012) Much of the structural stability of the nucleus comes from meshworks of intermediate filament proteins known as lamins forming the inner layer of the nuclear envelope called the nuclear lamina. These lamin meshworks additionally play a role in gene expression. Abnormalities in nuclear shape are associated with a variety of pathologies, including some forms of cancer and Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome, and often include protruding structures termed nuclear blebs. These nuclear blebs are thought to be related to pathological gene expression; however, little is known about how and why blebs form. We have developed a minimal continuum elastic model of a lamin meshwork that we use to investigate which aspects of the meshwork could be responsible for bleb formation.Mammalian laminmeshworks consist of two types of lamin proteins, A type and B type, and it has been reported that nuclear blebs are enriched in A-type lamins. Our model treats each lamin type separately and thus, can assign them different properties. Nuclear blebs have been reported to be located in regions where the fibers in the lamin meshwork have a greater separation, and we find that this greater separation of fibers is an essential characteristic for generating nuclear blebs. The model produces structures with comparable morphologies and distributions of lamin types as real pathological nuclei. Thus, preventing this opening of the meshwork could be a route to prevent bleb formation, which could be used as a potential therapy for the pathologies associated with nuclear blebs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3248-3253
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume110
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 26 2013

Keywords

  • Elasticity
  • Monte Carlo
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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