The lamins are the major components of the nuclear matrix and are known as lamins A, B, and C with Mr 72,000, 68,000, and 62,000 when analysed by SDS PAGE. These three polypeptides are very similar, as determined by polypeptide mapping and immunological reactivity. Lamins A and C are so homologous that a precursor-product relationship has been proposed. Using an antiserum against nuclear matrix proteins that specifically immunoprecipitates the three lamins, we examined their synthesis in the rabbit reticulocytes lysate. Four bands of Mr 62,000, 68,000, 70,000, and 74,000 were specifically immunoprecipitated when polysomes or polyadenylated RNA were translated in vitro. By two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, the 68,000- and the 62,000-mol-wt proteins were identified as lamins B and C, respectively, and the 74,000-mol-wt polypeptide had properties of a precursor of lamin A. The mRNAs of lamin C and of the putative precursor of lamin A were completely separated by gel electrophoresis under denaturing conditions, and their respective sizes were determined. These results suggest that lamin A is not a precursor of lamin C.

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