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The nuclear lamina forms a protein mesh that underlies the nuclear membrane. In most mammalian cells it contains the intermediate filament proteins, lamins A, B and C. As their name indicates, lamins are generally thought to be confined to the nuclear periphery. We now show that they also form part of a diffuse skeleton that ramifies throughout the interior of the nucleus. Unlike their peripheral counterparts, these internal lamins are buried in dense chromatin and so are inaccessible to antibodies, but accessibility can be increased by removing chromatin. Knobs and nodes on an internal skeleton can then be immunolabelled using fluorescein- or gold-conjugated anti-lamin A antibodies. These results suggest that the lamins are misnamed as they are also found internally.


Journal article


J Cell Sci

Publication Date



108 ( Pt 2)


635 - 644


Antibodies, Monoclonal, Chromatin, Fluorescent Antibody Technique, HeLa Cells, Humans, Lamins, Microscopy, Immunoelectron, Nuclear Matrix, Nuclear Proteins