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Detection of dense intra- and perinuclear 10 nm filament systems by whole mount and embedment-free electron microscopy in several species of the green algal order Dasycladales

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Shoeman,  Robert L.
Coherent diffractive imaging, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;
Department of Biomolecular Mechanisms, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;
Analytical Protein Biochemistry, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Berger, S., Shoeman, R. L., & Traub, P. (1996). Detection of dense intra- and perinuclear 10 nm filament systems by whole mount and embedment-free electron microscopy in several species of the green algal order Dasycladales. Protoplasma, 190(3-4), 204-220. doi:10.1007/BF01281319.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0019-A71A-B
Abstract
In contrast to the immense body of evidence supporting the occurrence of intermediate filament (IF) proteins in the animal kingdom, there is only limited information on their distribution in plants. Nevertheless, a number of immunocytochemical and electron microscopical observations indicate that particularly in higher plant cells IFs contribute to the construction of the cyto- and karyoskeleton. Here we show by whole mount electron microscopy of the giant nuclei extruded together with adhering cytoplasm from the rhizoids of some species of the algal order Dasycladales that cytoplasmic 10 nm filament networks also occur in unicellular, mononucleated green organisms of early evolutionary origin. The filament systems were associated with the residual nuclear envelope which consisted of a dense arrangement of pore complexes suspended by a meshwork of short 5 to 6 nm filaments; structurally it was very similar to the nuclear envelopes obtained from mammalian cells. When the Dasycladales nuclei were processed side by side with mouse skin fibroblasts, the algal filament systems were physically almost indistinguishable from the mammalian vimentin filament network. Embedment-free thin sections of rhizoids have not only confirmed the existence of the perinculear 10 nm filaments and their seamless association with the nuclear envelope, but have demonstrated the existence of an extensive intranuclear meshwork of 10 nm filaments. The latter were morphologically indistinguishable from the perinuclear 10 nm filaments and seem to be connected to these via the nuclear envelope to form a continuum. Among a variety of antibodies directed against mammalian IF proteins, only polyclonal anti-mouse lamin B antibodies decorated the cytoplasmic filaments of the Dasycladales cells. Surprisingly, none of the antibodies decorated the thinner filaments of the nuclear envelope, which possibly represent the nuclear lamina. In accord with this observation, one anti-lamin B antibody recognized in Western blot analysis of a urea extract ofAcetabularia acetabulum rhizoids three polypeptides with Mrs of approximately 47,000, 64,000, and 76,000. The proteins did not react with the α-IFA antibody. Since the Dasycladales have a fossil record of nearly 600 million years — an extant genus, Acicularia, also investigated here, evolved about 170 million years ago -, the molecular characterization of the subunit proteins of their cytoplasmic filament systems might throw further light on the evolution and biological role of IFs.