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J Cell Biochem. 1996 Aug;62(2):158-64.

Dynamic continuity of nuclear and mitotic matrix proteins in the cell cycle.

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Department of Cell Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


The eukaryotic cell nucleus is a membrane-enclosed compartment containing the genome and associated molecules supported by a highly insoluble filamentous network known as the nucleoskeleton or nuclear matrix. The nuclear matrix is believed to play roles in maintaining nuclear architecture and organizing nuclear metabolism. Recently, advances in microscopic techniques and the availability of new molecular probes have made it possible to localize functional domains within the nuclear matrix and demonstrate dynamic interactions between both soluble and insoluble components involved in the control of multiple nuclear transactions. Like the cytoplasm and its skeleton, the nucleoplasm is highly structured and very crowded with an equally complex skeletal framework. In fact, there is growing evidence that the two skeletal systems are functionally contiguous, providing a dynamic cellular matrix connecting the cell surface with the genome. If we impose cell cycle dynamics upon this skeletal organization, it is obvious that the genome and associated nuclear matrix must undergo a major structural transition during mitosis, being disassembled and/or reorganized in late G2 and reassembled again in daughter nuclei. However, recent evidence from our laboratory and elsewhere suggests that much of the nuclear matrix is used to form the mitotic apparatus (MA). Indeed, both facultative and constitutive matrix-associated proteins such as NuMA, CENP-B, CENP-F, and the retinoblastoma protein (Rb) associate within and around the MA. During mitosis, the nuclear matrix proteins may either become inert "passengers" or assume critical functions in partitioning the genome into newly formed G1 nuclei. Therefore, we support the view that the nuclear matrix exists as a dynamic architectural continuum, embracing the genome and maintaining cellular regulation throughout the cell cycle.

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