ABSTRACT: Actins are highly conserved proteins that serve as the basic building blocks of cytoskeletal microfilaments. In animal cells, specific nuclear actin adopts unconventional conformations that are involved in multiple nuclear functions and that associate with nuclear actin binding proteins. However, there is practically no information available about nuclear actin in plants. Indeed, actin has not been detected in the nuclear proteomes of many plants, and orthologs of the main structural nuclear actin-binding proteins have yet to be identified. Here, we have investigated the characteristics, intranuclear compartmentalization, and function of actin in isolated Allium cepa nuclei as well as that of its motor protein nuclear myosin I (NMI). Using conformation-specific antibodies for nuclear actin isoforms, ss-actin, and NMI, the distribution of these proteins was studied in Western blots and by immunocytochemistry. Moreover, the participation of nuclear actin in transcription was analyzed in run on in situ assays and inhibition of RNA polymerases I and II. We show that actin isoforms with distinct solubilities are present in onion nuclei with a consistent subnuclear compartmentalization. Actin and NMI are highly enriched in foci that are similar to transcription foci, although actin is also distributed diffusely in the nucleus and nucleolus as well as accumulating in a subset of the Cajal bodies. Immunogold labeling identified both proteins in the nuclear transcription subdomains and in other subnuclear compartments. In addition, actin and NMI were diffusely distributed in the nuclear matrix.
Chromosoma 12/2008; 118(2):193-207. · 3.85 Impact Factor