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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The preparation and ultrastructure of avian erythrocyte nuclear envelope enclosed by the plasma membrane.

A procedure is described for the preparation of avian erythrocyte nuclear envelope ghosts which remain enclosed by the ellipsoid plasma membrane. Haemoglobin-free nucleated chicken erythrocyte ghosts are treated in a low ionic strength buffer plus heparin which brings about decondensation of the chromatin. This is followed by solubilization of the chromatin by digestion with pancreatic deoxyribonuclease-1. When studied by light microscopy using either phase-contrast or Nomarski interference optics, the ellipsoid plasma membrane is clearly seen to remain with the collapsed nuclear envelope trapped inside. This interpretation is supported by negative-staining electron microscopy using ammonium molybdate, which in addition reveals the presence of the nuclear pore complexes. The suggestion is advanced that structural protection is provided for the fragile nuclear envelope system by the surrounding plasma membrane, which might account for the final nuclear envelope being in the form of relatively intact ghosts with well defined nuclear pore complexes. The nuclear envelope is highly fragmented when the plasma membrane is absent, the nuclear pore complexes showing appreciable breakdown. Thin sectioning supports the results of negative staining and in addition shows the nuclear envelope retained within the plasma membrane to be composed of both inner and outer nuclear membranes, but the nuclear pore complexes are not clearly defined.[1]


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