Function of The Nuclear Envelope/Nuclear Membrane

The nuclear membrane, sometimes referred to as the nuclear envelope, is the membrane that encloses the nucleus. This bilayer membrane is made of lipids, and encases the genetic material in eukaryotic cells.

The nuclear membrane is made up of a double lipid bilayer. There are two parts to these two layers: the inner and the outer nuclear membrane. There is a space between the membranes, which is called the perinuclear space. This 20-40 nm wide section of the membrane isconnected with the inside of the endoplasmic reticulum.

There are small holes in the nuclear membrane called nuclear pores, and these pores allow content to move in and out of the nucleus. They also connect the inner membrane with the outer membrane.

During the interphase portion of cell division, the surface area of the nuclear membrane expands and the membrane doubles the number of nuclear pores. Of course, some lower animals' cells keep the membrane intact during mitosis, so the spindle fibers are either generatedinside the membrane or they penetrate the membrane without tearing it apart.


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