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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Apr 1;89(7):3000-4.

Nucleoplasmic localization of prelamin A: implications for prenylation-dependent lamin A assembly into the nuclear lamina.

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Eleanor Roosevelt Institute for Cancer Research, Denver, CO 80206.

Erratum in

  • Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1992 Jun 15;89(12):5699.


The synthesis of the nuclear lamina protein lamin A requires the prenylation-dependent processing of its precursor protein, prelamin A. Unlike p21ras, which undergoes similar initial posttranslational modifications, maturation of lamin A results in the proteolytic removal of the prenylated portion of the molecule. We have used an in vitro prenylation system to demonstrate the nature of the prenyl substituent on prelamin A to be a farnesyl group. Further, the in vitro farnesylation of prelamin A requires an intact cysteine-aliphatic-aliphatic-other (CAAX) amino acid sequence motif at its carboxyl terminus. The effect of blocking the prenylation of prelamin A on its localization and assembly into the nuclear lamina was investigated by indirect immunofluorescence. Expression of wild-type prelamin A in lovastatin-treated cells showed that nonprenylated prelamin A accumulated as nucleoplasmic particles. Upon addition of mevalonate to lovastatin-treated cells, the wild-type lamin A was incorporated into the lamina within 3 hr. Expression of a mutant lamin A in which the carboxyl-terminal 21 amino acids were deleted resulted in a lamin molecule that was directly assembled into the lamina. These results indicate that the carboxyl-terminal peptide of prelamin A blocks its proper assembly into the nuclear lamina and that the prenylation-initiated removal of this peptide can occur in the nucleus.

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