The lamina-associated polypeptide (LAP) 2 family comprises up to six alternatively spliced proteins in mammalian cells and three isoforms in Xenopus. LAP2beta is a type II integral protein of the inner nuclear membrane, which binds to lamin B and the chromosomal protein BAF, and may link the nuclear membrane to the underlying lamina and provide docking sites for chromatin. LAP2alpha shares only the N-terminus with the other isoforms and contains a unique C-terminus. It is a nonmembrane protein associated with the nucleoskeleton and may help to organize higher order chromatin structure by interacting with A-lamins and chromosomes. Recent studies using mutant proteins have just begun to unravel functions of LAP2 isoforms during postmitotic nuclear reassembly. LAP2alpha associates with chromosomes via an alpha-specific domain at early stages of assembly, possibly providing a structural framework for chromosome reorganization. The subsequent interaction of both LAP2alpha and LAP2beta with the chromosomal BAF may stabilize chromatin structure and target membranes to the chromosomes. At later stages LAP2 may regulate the assembly of lamins. LAP2 isoforms have been found to share a homologous approximately 40 amino acid long region, the LEM domain, with nuclear membrane proteins MAN1 and emerin, which has been implicated in Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.