Department of Cell and Developmental Biology
Cell Nucleus Shape; Cytoskeletal Proteins; Cytoskeleton; DNA Helicases; Nuclear Proteins; Transcription Factors
Changes in nuclear morphology occur during normal development and have been observed during the progression of several diseases. The shape of a nucleus is governed by the balance of forces exerted by nuclear-cytoskeletal contacts and internal forces created by the structure of the chromatin and nuclear envelope. However, factors that regulate the balance of these forces and determine nuclear shape are poorly understood. The SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling enzyme ATPase, BRG1, has been shown to contribute to the regulation of overall cell size and shape. Here we document that immortalized mammary epithelial cells show BRG1-dependent nuclear shape changes. Specifically, knockdown of BRG1 induced grooves in the nuclear periphery that could be documented by cytological and ultrastructural methods. To test the hypothesis that the observed changes in nuclear morphology resulted from altered tension exerted by the cytoskeleton, we disrupted the major cytoskeletal networks and quantified the frequency of BRG1-dependent changes in nuclear morphology. The results demonstrated that disruption of cytoskeletal networks did not change the frequency of BRG1-induced nuclear shape changes. These findings suggest that BRG1 mediates control of nuclear shape by internal nuclear mechanisms that likely control chromatin dynamics.
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Citation: PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e55628. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055628. Epub 2013 Feb 6. Link to article on publisher's site
Imbalzano, Karen M.; Cohet, Nathalie; Wu, Qiong; Underwood, Jean M.; Imbalzano, Anthony N.; and Nickerson, Jeffrey A., "Nuclear Shape Changes Are Induced by Knockdown of the SWI/SNF ATPase BRG1 and Are Independent of Cytoskeletal Connections" (2013). Cell and Developmental Biology Publications. 116.