Purified keratin, solubilized in 8 M of urea, was added to Triton X-100-extracted PtK1 cells in 5 mM PIPES buffer. The buffer conditions induced assembly of keratin filaments which appear to associate with nuclei of extracted cells. These keratin fibers extend beyond the original margin of the cells and frequently form bridges between adjacent cells. Electron microscopy shows that keratin filaments associate closely with the surface of the nucleus. We suggest that the site of association between keratin and the nucleus may represent an intermediate filament organizing center.

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