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Durham CELLS (Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences)


Professor Chris Hutchison

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 41270
Fax: +44 191 334 1201
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 48572
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 41270

Contact Professor Chris Hutchison (email at


Research in my group focuses on the structure, function and biosynthesis of the nuclear envelope. The nuclear envelope is a complex and dynamic structure consisting of a double unit membrane perforated by nuclear pore proteins and supported by a fibrous lamina. The nuclear envelope has been proposed to be an architectural device similar to a geodesic dome, which is designed to resist forces of deformation. The nuclear envelope also breaks down and is reassembled every time a cell divides. This raises questions as to how the assemble and disassembly of the nuclear envelope is regulated. Finally, the nuclear envelope has structural and epigenetic functions. It not only protects chromatin from forces generated by the cytoskeleton but it also controls gene expression by limiting communication across the nuclear membrane but also because nuclear envelope proteins regulate the activity of important transcription co-activators. The function of nuclear envelope has recently been highlighted by the discovery that a number of genetic diseases, including progeria, bone diseases, muscular dystrophy, cardiomyopathy and white fat disorders, arise through mutations in nuclear envelope proteins.

Our group uses a wide range of in vitro technologies to understand how these proteins function and therefore how to understand human pathologies. This includes a wide range of cell culture models, cell free nuclear assembly systems, confocal and electron microscopy and proteomic and genomic analyses.

Selected Publications

  • Ewa Markiewicz, Rachel Venables, Mauricio-Alvarez-Reyes, Roy Quinlan, Margareth Dorobek Irena Hausmanowa-Petrucewicz & Christopher Hutchison (2002). Increased solubility of lamins and redistribution of lamin C in X-linked Emery Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy Fibroblasts. J. Struct. Biol
  • CMLJ Tilli, FCS Ramaekers, JLV Broers, CJ Hutchison & HAM Neumann (2002). Lamin Expression in Normal Human Skin, Actinic Keratosis, Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Basal Cell Carcinoma. Br. J. Dermatol
  • Hutchison, CJ. (2002). Lamins: building blocks or regulators of gene expression? Nature Reviews: Molecular Cell Biology 3: 848 - 857.
  • Ewa Markiewicz, Thomas Dechat, Roland Foisner, Roy. A Quinlan & Christopher J. Hutchison (2002). The lamin A/C binding protein LAP2a is required for the nuclear anchorage of the retinoblastoma protein. Mol. Biol. Cell

Journal papers: academic

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