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Hum Mol Genet. 1996 Jun;5(6):801-8.

The Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy protein, emerin, is a nuclear membrane protein.

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MRIC Biotechnology Group, N.E. Wales Institute, UK.


A large fragment of emerin cDNA was prepared by PCR and expressed as a recombinant protein in Escherichia coli. Using this as immunogen, we prepared a panel of 12 monoclonal antibodies which recognise at least four different epitopes on emerin in order to ensure that emerin can be distinguished from non-specific cross-reacting proteins. All the mAbs recognised a 34 kDa protein in all tissues tested, though minor emerin-related bands were also detected in some tissues. Immunofluorescence microscopy showed that emerin is located at the nuclear rim in all tissues examined. A muscle biopsy from an Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (EMDM) patient showed complete absence of emerin by both Western blotting and immunohistochemistry, suggesting a simple diagnostic antibody test for EDMD families. Biochemical fractionation of brain and liver tissues showed that emerin was present in nuclei purified by centrifugation through 65% sucrose and was absent from soluble fractions (post-100,000 g). From these results, together with sequence and structural homologies between emerin, thymopoietins and the nuclear lamina-associated protein, LAP2, we suggest that emerin will prove to be one member of a family of inner nuclear membrane proteins.

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