Cell Biology

Please Don’t (Actually, It’s OK to Do) Squeeze the Nucleus

Our cells sometimes have to squeeze through pretty tight spaces. And when they do, the nuclei inside must go along for the ride. University of Pittsburgh scientists believe their observations (click for a stellar animation) indicate that the distinct lamin layers are part of a necessary cellular system: When functioning correctly, it allows nuclei to relieve pressure when compressed by biologic functions — such as moving within a very thin blood vessel or squeezing through a narrow opening — to avoid damage to the nucleus itself. 

“Now that we can look at the nuclear architecture in such exquisite detail, we can start asking, ‘How does it change in ADLD (autosomal dominant leukodystrophy with autonomic disease) and other lamina diseases, particularly with aging?’” senior author Quasar Padiath said, of the work published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.