Lamina-associated polypeptide 2 alpha (LAP2 alpha) is a non-membrane-bound isoform of the LAP2 family involved in nuclear structure organization. Using various cell systems, including Jurkat, HL-60, and HeLa cells, and different death-inducing agents, such as anti-Fas antibody, topoisomerase inhibitors, and staurosporine, we found that LAP2 alpha was cleaved during apoptosis as rapidly as lamin B in a caspase-dependent manner yielding stable N- and C-terminal fragments of approximately 50 and 28 kDa, respectively. Based on fragment size and localization of immunoreactive epitopes, four potential cleavage sites were mapped between amino acids 403–485. These sites were located within a domain that has previously been described to be essential and sufficient for association of LAP2 alpha with chromosomes, suggesting that LAP2 alpha cleavage impairs its chromatin-binding properties. Immunofluorescence microscopy demonstrated that, unlike full length protein, apoptotic fragments did not colocalize with condensed chromatin, but remained in the nuclear compartment as long as a single nucleus was visible. Subfractionation analyses showed that the N-terminal LAP2 alpha fragment was extracted from intranuclear structures in detergent/salt buffers, whereas the C-terminal fragment remained associated with a residual framework devoid of chromatin. Our data suggest that early cleavage of LAP2 alpha) is important for chromatin reorganization during apoptosis.
The nucleoskeletal protein lamina-associated polypeptide 2(α) (LAP2*) contains a large, unique C terminus and differs significantly from its alternatively spliced, mostly membrane-integrated isoforms, such as LAP2beta. Unlike lamin B-binding LAP2beta, LAP2alpha was found by confocal immunofluorescence microscopy to colocalize preferentially with A-type lamins in the newly formed nuclei assembled after mitosis. While only a subfraction of lamins A and C (lamin A/C) was associated with the predominantly nuclear LAP2alpha in telophase, the majority of lamin A/C colocalized with LAP2alpha in G(1)-phase nuclei. Furthermore, selective disruption of A-type lamin structures by overexpression of lamin mutants in HeLa cells caused a redistribution of LAP2alpha. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments revealed that a fraction of lamin A/C formed a stable, SDS-resistant complex with LAP2alpha in interphase cells and in postmetaphase cell extracts. Blot overlay binding studies revealed a direct binding of LAP2alpha to exclusively A-type lamins and located the interaction domains to the C-terminal 78 amino acids of LAP2alpha and to residues 319–566 in lamin A/C, which include the C terminus of the rod and the entire tail common to lamin A/C. These findings suggest that LAP2alpha and A-type lamins cooperate in the organization of internal nuclear structures.
The intermediate filament-binding protein plectin and cytokeratin were localised at the cellular periphery of fully polarised Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells, whereas vimentin was primarily found in a perinuclear network. Confocal and immunoelectron microscopy revealed that plectin was restricted to areas underlying the lateral plasma membrane. It colocalised with fodrin, a component of the submembrane skeleton, and was closely associated with desmosomal plaque structures. Biochemically, plectin was shown to interact directly with immunoprecipitated desmoplakin in vitro. Upon loss of cell polarity in low calcium medium, plectin redistributed to a cytoplasmic vimentin- and cytokeratin-related network, clearly distinct from diffusely distributed fodrin and internalised desmoplakin structures. The structural reorganisation of plectin was also reflected by an increased solubility of the protein in Triton X-100/high salt, and a decrease in its half-life from approximately 20 to approximately 5 hours. Furthermore, unlike cytokeratins and vimentin, desmoplakin and fodrin did not associate with plectin attached to magnetic beads in cell lysates of unpolarised cells, while all proteins formed a stable complex in polarised cells. Altogether, these data indicate that plectin is involved in the anchorage of intermediate filaments to desmosomes and to the submembrane skeleton in polarised MDCK cells.