Using a mAb (R-7), we have characterized a 54-kD protein of the chicken nuclear envelope. Based on its biochemical properties and subnuclear distribution p54 is likely to be an integral membrane component specific to the inner nuclear membrane. Fractionation experiments indicate that p54 interacts, directly or indirectly, with the nuclear lamina, and analysis of p54 in cultured cells suggests that this interaction is controlled by cell cycle-dependent posttranslational modification, most likely phosphorylation. Modification of p54 results in a slightly reduced electrophoretic mobility, and it converts the protein from a detergent-resistant to a detergent-extractable form. Detergent solubilization of p54 can be induced in vivo by treating isolated nuclei or nuclear envelopes with highly purified cdc2 kinase, one of the most prominent kinases active in mitotic cells. These results suggest that mitotic phosphorylation of p54 might contribute to control nuclear envelope dynamics during mitosis in vivo.

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