Lamin B locks up Oct-1

Jan 12, 2009

A large fraction of the transcription factor Oct-1 is associated with the inner nuclear envelope, but how and why it is retained there was unknown.

As for how, Malhas et al. show—in the January 12, 2009 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology (www.jcb.org)—that Oct-1 binds to lamin B1, a prominent intermediate filament that lines the nuclear envelope, and in cells expressing a drastically truncated mutant of lamin B1, Oct-1 was disassociated from the nuclear envelope.

This left the question, why? The authors asked whether disrupting lamin B1-Oct-1 interactions could affect the expression of genes regulated by Oct-1. Indeed, in cells with truncated lamin B1, they found that expression of several Oct-1-regulated genes was altered because more Oct-1 could bind at these genes' promoters. Among the genes was a group involved in the oxidative stress response. As a result, these mutant cells accumulated higher levels of reactive oxygen species than wild-type cells.

It remains to be seen whether and how lamin B1-Oct-1 interactions are actively regulated in cells to help control gene expression. But, it is evident from these results that perturbation of lamin B1-Oct-1 interactions can make cells more vulnerable to oxidative stress. This could be particularly important in aging cells, where nuclear envelope integrity (and lamin B1 localization) is often perturbed, says author David Vaux. Lamins support the structure of the nucleus, and compromised nuclear structure has been a suspected cause of aging; another type of lamin, lamin A, is known to cause a premature aging disease when faulty. Increased production of reactive oxygen species—due to the perturbation of lamin B1 in mature cells—could be another way in which lamins contribute to the aging process.

Source: Rockefeller University

Explore further: Tarantula toxin is used to report on electrical activity in live cells

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A new quality control pathway in the cell

Sep 18, 2014

Proteins are important building blocks in our cells and each cell contains millions of different protein molecules. They are involved in everything from structural to regulatory aspects in the cell. Proteins are constructed ...

Cell nuclei harbor factories that transcribe genes

Sep 27, 2013

Our genetic heritage is contained—and protected—in the nucleus of the cells that compose us. Copies of the DNA exit the nucleus to be read and translated into proteins in the cell cytoplasm. The transit between the nucleus ...

Recommended for you

Scientists see how plants optimize their repair

2 hours ago

Researchers led by a Washington State University biologist have found the optimal mechanism by which plants heal the botanical equivalent of a bad sunburn. Their work, published in the Proceedings of the Na ...

User comments : 0