A subset of non-histone nuclear proteins reversibly stabilized by the sulfhydryl cross-linking reagent tetrathionate. Polypeptides of the internal nuclear matrix

Scott H. Kaufmann, Joel H. Shaper

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When rat liver nuclei are isolated in the presence of the irreversible sulfhydryl-blocking reagent iodoacetamide, digested with DNase I and RNase A, and extracted with 1.6 M NaCl, nuclear envelope (NE) spheres depleted of intranuclear material, as analysed by thin-section electron microscopy, are obtained. Two-dimensional isoelectric focusing (IEF)/SDS-PAGE and non-equilibrium pH gradient electrophoresis (NEPHGE)/ SDS-PAGE reveal that the predominant polypeptides are lamins A, B and C. Nuclei isolated in the absence of sulfhydryl blocking reagents yield salt- and nuclease-resistant structures which contain sparse but demonstrable intranuclear material. A number of non-histone polypeptides are seen in addition to the lamins. Nuclei treated with the sulfhydryl cross-linking reagent sodium tetrathionate (NaTT) yield, after exposure to nucleases and 1.6 M NaCl, nuclear matrix-like structures containing an extensive intranuclear network and components of the nucleolus in addition to the NE. Increased amounts of the non-lamin, non-histone polypeptides are recovered with these structures. Subsequent treatment of these NaTT-cross-linked structures with reducing agents in 1.0 M NaCl selectively solubilizes the intranuclear components but leaves the nuclear envelope apparently intact. The lamins remain sedimentable and are virtually absent from the soluble (intranuclear) material. Instead, the major solubilized polypeptides are (a) 68 and 63 kD polypeptides which migrate in the vicinity of lamins B and C, respectively, but are distinguishable from the lamins by immunoblotting and by uni-dimensional peptide mapping; (b) a series of basic 60-70 kD polypeptides (pI > 8.0) which are not recognized by anti-lamin antisera; (c) an acidic (pI 5.3) 38 kD polypeptide; and (d) a number of high molecular mass (> 100 kD) polypeptides. These observations not only suggest a convenient method for fractionating matrix structures from rat liver nuclei into biochemically and morphologically discrete components, but also identify a subset of major non-lamin, non-histone nuclear polypeptides (comprising approx. 20% of the total nuclear protein) whose intermolecular interactions can be reversibly stabilized apparently by intermolecular disulfide bond formation by NaTT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-495
Number of pages19
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1984


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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