Nuclear envelope (NE) formation in a cell-free egg extract proceeds by precursor membrane vesicle binding to chromatin in an ATP-dependent manner, followed by a GTP-induced NE assembly step. The requirement for GTP in the latter step of this process can be mimicked by addition of bacterial PI-PLC [phosphoinositide (PtdIns)-specific phospholipase C]. The NE assembly process is here dissected in relation to the requirement for endogenous phosphoinositide metabolism, employing recombinant eukaryotic PI-PLC, inhibitors and direct phospholipid analysis using ESI-MS (electrospray ionization mass spectrometry). PtdIns (phosphatidylinositol) species analysis by ESI-MS indicates that the chromatin-bound NE precursor vesicles are enriched for specific PtdIns species. Moreover, during GTP-induced precursor vesicle fusion, the membrane vesicles become partially depleted of the PtdIns 18:0/20:4 species. These data indicate that eukaryotic PI-PLC can support NE formation, and the sensitivity to exogenous recombinant PtdIns-5-phosphatases shows that the endogenous PLC hydrolyses a 5-phosphorylated species. It is shown further that the downstream target of this DAG (diacylglycerol) pathway does not involve PKC (protein kinase C) catalytic function, but is mimicked by phorbol esters, indicating a possible engagement of one of the non-PKC phorbol ester receptors. The results show that ESI-MS can be used as a sensitive means to measure the lipid composition of biological membranes and their changes during, for example, membrane fusogenic events. We have exploited this and the intervention studies to illustrate a pivotal role for PI-PLC and its product DAG in the formation of NEs.
- Electrospray ionization mass spectrometry
- Membrane fusion
- Nuclear envelope
- Phosphoinositide-specific phospholipase C
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology