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J Biol Chem. 1990 Jun 5;265(16):9055-61.

The in vitro DNA-binding properties of purified nuclear lamin proteins and vimentin.

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  • 1Max-Planck-Institut für Zellbiologie, Ladenburg bei Heidelberg, Federal Republic Germany.


The ability of purified nuclear lamin A, lamin B, lamin C, and vimentin from Ehrlich ascites tumor cells to bind nucleic acids was investigated in vitro via a quantitative filter binding assay. At low ionic strength, vimentin bound more nucleic acid than the nuclear lamins and showed a preference for G-containing nucleic acids. Nuclear lamins A and C were quite similar in their binding properties and bound G- and C-containing nucleic acids preferentially. The binding of poly(dT) by the lamins A and C was reduced in competition experiments by both poly(dG) and poly(dC), but not by poly(dA). Lamin B bound only oligo and poly(dG); no other nucleic acids tested were bound or could compete with the binding of oligo(dG). Vimentin, lamin A, and lamin C specifically bound a synthetic oligonucleotide human (vertebrate) telomere model. The Ka for vimentin (2.7 X 10(7) M-1) was approximately 10-fold higher than those for lamin A (2.8 X 10(6) M-1) and lamin C (2.9 X 10(6) M-1). Lamin B did not bind detectable amounts of the telomere model. Washing of lamin A- and lamin C-nucleic acid complexes, formed at low ionic strength, with solutions containing 150 mM KCl resulted in the elution of 30% of bound poly(dG)12-18 and 70% of bound synthetic oligonucleotide telomere model. These results, using purified individual proteins, are in good agreement with data from competition experiments with vimentin but are at odds with data obtained previously using a crude preparation of nuclear matrix proteins containing all three nuclear lamin proteins (Comings, D. E., and Wallack, A. S. (1978) J. Cell Sci. 34, 233-246). The nuclear lamins A and C and vimentin possess nucleic acid-binding properties that might permit their binding to specific base sequences and/or unique DNA structure, such as that observed for the binding of the telomere model. The significance of the higher affinity binding of nucleic acids by the cytoplasmic protein vimentin (compared with the nuclear lamins) remains to be elucidated.

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