The structure of lamin filaments in somatic cells as revealed by cryo-electron tomography

Y. Turgay, O. Medalia

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

35 Scopus citations


Metazoan nuclei are equipped with nuclear lamina - a thin layer of intermediate filaments (IFs) mostly built of nuclear lamins facing the inner nuclear membrane (INM). The nuclear lamina serves as an interaction hub for INM-proteins, soluble nuclear factors and DNA. It confers structural and mechanical stability to the nucleus, transduces mechanical forces and biochemical signals across the nuclear envelope (NE) and regulates the organization of chromatin. By using cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET), we recently provided an unprecedented view into the 3D organization of lamin filaments within the lamina meshwork in mammalian somatic cells. Through implementation of averaging procedures, we resolved the rod and globular Ig-fold domains of lamin filaments. The density maps suggested that they assemble into 3.5 nm thick filaments. Our analysis revealed interesting structural differences between nucleoplasmic and cytoplasmic intermediate filaments, raising the question of which molecular cues define their assembly modes inside the cell.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-481
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - 3 Sep 2017


  • cryo-electron tomgraphy
  • intermediate filaments
  • lamin filaments
  • nuclear lamina

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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