Int J Biol Sci 2006; 2(4):216-226. doi:10.7150/ijbs.2.216 This issue

Research Paper

Homeostatic restitution of cell membranes. Nuclear membrane lipid biogenesis and transport of protein from cytosol to intranuclear spaces.

Amalia Slomiany, Maria Grabska, Bronislaw L. Slomiany

Research Center C-873, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Dental School, Newark, NJ 07103, USA

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Slomiany A, Grabska M, Slomiany BL. Homeostatic restitution of cell membranes. Nuclear membrane lipid biogenesis and transport of protein from cytosol to intranuclear spaces.. Int J Biol Sci 2006; 2(4):216-226. doi:10.7150/ijbs.2.216. Available from

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Our studies on homeostatic restitution of cellular and subcellular membranes showed that vesicular intracellular transport is engaged in systematic and coordinated replacement of lipids and proteins in the membranes of the secretory, non-dividing epithelial cells (Slomiany et al., J. Physiol. Pharmacol. 2004; 55: 837-860). In this report, we present evidence on the homeostatic restitution of lipids in the biomembranes that constitute nuclear envelopes. We investigated nuclear membranes lipid synthesis by employing purified intact nuclei (IN), the outer nuclear membrane (ONM), the inner nuclear membrane (INM) and the cell cytosol (CC). In contrast to Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) which in the presence of CC generates new biomembrane that forms ER vesicles transporting ER products to Golgi, the IN, ONM and INM are not producing transport vesicles. Instead, the newly synthesized lipids remain in the nuclear membranes. The membranes (INM, ONM) of IN incubated with CC become enriched with newly synthesized phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylinositol (PI), phosphatidylinositol phosphates (PIPs) and phosphatidic acid (PA). The incubation of separated ONM and INM with CC also enriched the membranes with IN specific lipids identified above. Moreover, the incubation of IN or its membranes with CC afforded retention of numerous CC proteins on the nuclear membrane. Here, we concentrated on 30kDa CC protein that displayed affinity to nuclear membrane PIP2. The 30kDa CC protein bound to PIP2 of IN, INM, and ONM. With IN, initially the PIP2-30kDa CC protein complex was detected on ONM, after 30-120 min of incubation, was found on INM and in nuclear contents. At the same time when the 30 kDa protein was released from INM and found in nuclear contents, the PIP2 of INM and ONM became undetectable, while the lipid extract from the membrane displaced from IN contained labeled PI only. Since ONM is an uninterrupted continuum of ER and INM, we speculate that the synthesis of the lipids in the ER, in the region adjacent to nucleus, is defining nuclear outer and inner biomembrane composition, is responsible for transport of the cytosolic protein into the nucleus and, replenishment of ER membrane used for vesicular transport.

Keywords: Phospholipids of nuclear membranes, Inner and outer nuclear membrane biogenesis and restitution, Phosphatidylinositol phosphates, Cytosol protein transport to nucleus.