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Methods Cell Biol. 2010;98:97-119. doi: 10.1016/S0091-679X(10)98005-9.

Beyond lamins other structural components of the nucleoskeleton.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.


The nucleus is bordered by a double bilayer nuclear envelope, communicates with the cytoplasm via embedded nuclear pore complexes, and is structurally supported by an underlying nucleoskeleton. The nucleoskeleton includes nuclear intermediate filaments formed by lamin proteins, which provide major structural and mechanical support to the nucleus. However, other structural proteins also contribute to the function of the nucleoskeleton and help connect it to the cytoskeleton. This chapter reviews nucleoskeletal components beyond lamins and summarizes specific methods and strategies useful for analyzing nuclear structural proteins including actin, spectrin, titin, linker of nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton (LINC) complex proteins, and nuclear spindle matrix proteins. These components can localize to highly specific functional subdomains at the nuclear envelope or nuclear interior and can interact either stably or dynamically with a variety of partners. These components confer upon the nucleoskeleton a functional diversity and mechanical resilience that appears to rival the cytoskeleton. To facilitate the exploration of this understudied area of biology, we summarize methods useful for localizing, solubilizing, and immunoprecipitating nuclear structural proteins, and a state-of-the-art method to measure a newly-recognized mechanical property of nucleus.

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