ARTICLE ABSTRACTThe mammalian nuclear envelope (NE) forms a stable physical barrier between the nucleus and the cytoplasm, normally breaking down only during mitosis. However, spontaneous transient NE rupture in interphase can occur when NE integrity is compromised, such as when the nucleus experiences mechanical stress. For instance, deficiencies in the nuclear lamins and their associated proteins can cause NE rupture that is promoted by forces exerted by actin filaments. NE rupture can allow cytoplasmic nucleases to access chromatin, potentially compromising genome integrity. Importantly, spontaneous NE rupture was noted in several human cancer cell lines, but the cause of this defect is not known. Here, we investigated the mechanistic contributions of two major tumor suppressors, p53 (TP53) and Rb (RB1), to the repression of NE rupture. NE rupture was induced in normal human epithelial RPE-1 cells upon impairment of either Rb or p53 achieved by shRNA knockdown and CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing. NE rupture did not involve diminished expression of NE components or greater cell motility. However, cells that underwent NE rupture displayed a larger nuclear projection area. In conclusion, the data indicate that NE rupture in cancer cells is likely due to loss of either the Rb or the p53 pathway.Implications: These findings imply that tumor suppression by Rb and p53 includes the ability to prevent NE rupture, thereby protecting against genome alterations. Mol Cancer Res; 15(11); 1579–86. ©2017 AACR.