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J Struct Biol. 2007 Nov;160(2):224-35. Epub 2007 Aug 22.

Reticulon 4a/NogoA locates to regions of high membrane curvature and may have a role in nuclear envelope growth.

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Laboratory of Morphology and Function of Cell Structure, Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Russian Academy of Science, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia.


Reticulon 4a (Rtn4a) is a membrane protein that shapes tubules of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). The ER is attached to the nuclear envelope (NE) during interphase and has a role in post mitotic/meiotic NE reassembly. We speculated that Rtn4a has a role in NE dynamics. Using immuno-electron microscopy we found that Rtn4a is located at junctions between membranes in the cytoplasm, and between cytoplasmic membranes and the outer nuclear membrane in growing Xenopus oocyte nuclei. We found that during NE assembly in Xenopus egg extracts, Rtn4a localises to the edges of membranes that are flattening onto the chromatin. These results demonstrate that Rtn4a locates to regions of high membrane curvature in the ER and the assembling NE. Previously it was shown that incubation of egg extracts with antibodies against Rtn4a caused ER to form into large vesicles instead of tubules. To test whether Rtn4a contributes to NE assembly, we added the same Rtn4a antibody to nuclear assembly reactions. Chromatin was enclosed by membranes containing nuclear pore complexes, but nuclei did not grow. Instead large sacs of ER membranes attached to, but did not integrate into the NE. It is possible therefore that Rtn4a may have a role in NE assembly.

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