Nuclear Envelope Regulation of Oncogenic Processes: Roles in Pancreatic Cancer
Received: 10 August 2018 / Revised: 30 August 2018 / Accepted: 31 August 2018 / Published: 2 September 2018
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Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive and intractable malignancy with high mortality. This is due in part to a high resistance to chemotherapeutics and radiation treatment conferred by diverse regulatory mechanisms. Among these, constituents of the nuclear envelope play a significant role in regulating
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Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive and intractable malignancy with high mortality. This is due in part to a high resistance to chemotherapeutics and radiation treatment conferred by diverse regulatory mechanisms. Among these, constituents of the nuclear envelope play a significant role in regulating oncogenesis and pancreatic tumor biology, and this review focuses on three specific components and their roles in cancer. The LINC complex is a nuclear envelope component formed by proteins with SUN and KASH domains that interact in the periplasmic space of the nuclear envelope. These interactions functionally and structurally couple the cytoskeleton to chromatin and facilitates gene regulation informed by cytoplasmic activity. Furthermore, cancer cell invasiveness is impacted by LINC complex biology. The nuclear lamina is adjacent to the inner nuclear membrane of the nuclear envelope and can actively regulate chromatin in addition to providing structural integrity to the nucleus. A disrupted lamina can impart biophysical compromise to nuclear structure and function, as well as form dysfunctional micronuclei that may lead to genomic instability and chromothripsis. In close relationship to the nuclear lamina is the nuclear pore complex, a large megadalton structure that spans both outer and inner membranes of the nuclear envelope. The nuclear pore complex mediates bidirectional nucleocytoplasmic transport and is comprised of specialized proteins called nucleoporins that are overexpressed in many cancers and are diagnostic markers for oncogenesis. Furthermore, recent demonstration of gene regulatory functions for discrete nucleoporins independent of their nuclear trafficking function suggests that these proteins may contribute more to malignant phenotypes beyond serving as biomarkers. The nuclear envelope is thus a complex, intricate regulator of cell signaling, with roles in pancreatic tumorigenesis and general oncogenic transformation.