The nuclear matrix: Three-dimensional architecture and protein composition

David G. Capco, Katherine M. Wan, Sheldon Penman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

330 Scopus citations


The structural filament network of the nucleus is prepared while still connected to the cytoskeleton. The relatively gentle procedure removes about 98% of the DNA and at least 86% of the histones. The matrix is bounded by an outer nuclear lamina connected to the cytoskeletal framework, as well as the inner filaments. The filaments range in diameter from 3 to 22 nm, and are organized in a three-dimensional anastomosing network in which nucleoli are enmeshed. The nuclear matrix is separated from the cytoskeletal framework by a double detergent and then partitioned into a chromatin fraction and a matrix fraction by nuclease and high salt. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis shows that the proteins of the cytoskeleton, chromatin and nuclear matrix are very different. A major protein found in all fractions cofocuses with actin. Vimentin is largely associated with the nuclear matrix, probably as a corona external of filaments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)847-858
Number of pages12
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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