Two major immunocross-reactive polypeptides of the Drosophila nuclear envelope, distinguishable in interphase cells on the basis of one-dimensional SDS-PAGE mobility, have been localized to the nuclear lamina by immunoelectron microscopy. These have been designated lamins Dm1 and Dm2. Both lamins are apparently derived posttranslationally from a single, primary translation product, lamin Dm0. A pathway has been established whereby lamin Dm0 is processed almost immediately upon synthesis in the cytoplasm to lamin Dm1. Processing occurs posttranslationally, is apparently proteolytic, and has been reconstituted from cell-free extracts in vitro. Processing in vitro is ATP dependent. Once assembled into the nuclear envelope, a portion of lamin Dm1 is converted into lamin Dm2 by differential phosphorylation. Throughout most stages of development and in Schneider 2 tissue culture cells, both lamin isoforms are present in approximately equal abundance. However, during heat shock, lamin Dm2 is converted nearly quantitatively into lamin Dm1. Implications for understanding the regulation of nuclear lamina plasticity through normal growth and in response to heat shock are discussed.

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