Schematic of the Nuclear Envelope and Lamina

An increasing number of rare but devastating diseases have been linked to the inner membrane of the nuclear envelope. The inner membrane is lined by a structure referred to as the lamina. The lamina, largely composed of proteins called lamins, is important for maintaining the shape and size of the nucleus, and also contributes to the specialized functions of different human cells. The lamina also contains transmembrane proteins that dock at the lamins. When certain lamins and inner membrane proteins are mutated, they cause muscle-wasting diseases such as congenital muscular dystrophy, Limb-Girdle muscular dystrophy, and spinal muscular atrophy, and several forms of the neurodegenerative Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Illustration by Kevin Fung.