Analysis of the internal nuclear matrix. Oligomers of a 38 kD nucleolar polypeptide stabilized by disulfide bonds

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When rat liver nuclei are treated with the sulfhydryl cross-linking reagent sodium tetrathionate (NaTT) prior to nuclease treatment and extraction with 1.6 M NaCl, residual nucleoli and an extensive non-chromatin intranuclear network remain associated with the nuclear envelope. Subsequent treatment of this structure with 1 M NaCl containing 20 mM dithiothreitol (DTT) solubilizes the intranuclear material, while the nuclear envelope remains structurally intact. We have isolated and partially characterized a major polypeptide of the disulfide-stabilized internal nuclear matrix. The polypeptide, which has an apparent molecular mass 38 kD and isoelectric point 5.3, has been localized to the nucleolus of rat liver nuclei by indirect immunofluorescence using a specific polyclonal chicken antiserum. Based on its molecular mass, isoelectric point, intracellular localization and amino acid composition, the 38 kD polypeptide appears to be analogous to the nucleolar phosphoprotein B23 described by Prestayko et al. (Biochemistry 13 (1974) 1945) [20]. Immunologically related polypeptides have likewise been localized to the nucleoli of both hamster and human tissue culture cell lines as well as the cellular slime mold Physarum polycephalum. By immunoblotting, a single 38 kD polypeptide is recognized by the antiserum in rat, mouse, hamster and human cell lines. The antiserum has been utilized to investigate the oligomeric structure of the 38 kD polypeptide and the nature of its association with the rat liver nuclear matrix. By introducing varying numbers of disulfide bonds, we have found that the 38 kD polypeptide becomes incorporated into the internal nuclear matrix in a two-step process. Soluble disulfide-bonded homodimers of the polypeptide are first formed and then are rendered salt-insoluble by more extensive disulfide cross-linking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-153
Number of pages15
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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