Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Nuclear envelope proteomics: novel integral membrane proteins of the inner nuclear membrane.

PMID 11593002


The nuclear envelope (NE) is one of the least characterized structures of eukaryotic cells. The study of its functional roles is hampered by the small number of proteins known to be specifically located to it. Here, we present a comprehensive characterization of the NE proteome. We applied different fractionation procedures and isolated protein subsets derived from distinct NE compartments. We identified 148 different proteins by 16-benzyl dimethyl hexadecyl ammonium chloride (16-BAC) gel electrophoresis and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry; among them were 19 previously unknown or noncharacterized. The identification of known proteins in particular NE fractions enabled us to assign novel proteins to NE substructures. Thus, our subcellular proteomics approach retains the screening character of classical proteomic studies, but also allows a number of predictions about subcellular localization and interactions of previously noncharacterized proteins. We demonstrate this result by showing that two novel transmembrane proteins, a 100-kDa protein with similarity to Caenorhabditis elegans Unc-84A and an unrelated 45-kDa protein we named LUMA, reside in the inner nuclear membrane and likely interact with the nuclear lamina. The utility of our approach is not restricted to the investigation of the NE. Our approach should be applicable to the analysis of other complex membrane structures of the cell as well.