Inheriting nuclear organization: Can nuclear lamins impart spatial memory during post-mitotic nuclear assembly?

Catherine Martin, Songbi Chen, Dean A. Jackson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Cell type and tissue architecture correlate with genome organization in higher eukaryotes, and structural nuclear landmarks are faithfully transmitted from one cell generation to the next. However, how nuclear components find their place in the nucleus after mitosis is still a matter of debate. As the major structural proteins within nuclei, the nuclear lamins are good candidates to re-establish nuclear compartments following mitosis. Human cells with reduced expression of the major B-type lamin protein, lamin B1, were generated using RNA interference. Mitotic and nuclear assembly phenotypes were then visualized in both fixed and living cells. Mitotic defects in lamin B1-depleted cells correlated with a general deterioration in nuclear compartmentalization and chromatin structure, frequent failure of chromosome segregation, and profound disorganization of centromeres. Examination of cells with normal lamin B1 expression indicated that small lamin B1 foci remain associated with major nuclear compartments-chromatin, nucleoli, and nuclear speckles-during an unperturbed mitosis. Our experiments show that normal lamin B1 expression is required for successful cell division and provide preliminary evidence that lamin B1-containing remnants of the interphase nucleoskeleton persist throughout mitosis. We suggest that these residual structures provide landmarks that are targeted during nuclear reassembly to allow key features of nuclear organization to be inherited from one cell cycle to the next. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)525-541
    Number of pages16
    JournalChromosome Research
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


    • Mitosis
    • Nuclear architecture
    • Nuclear assembly
    • Nuclear lamin proteins
    • Nuclear organization
    • Nucleoskeleton
    • RNA interference


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