Nuclear-cytoskeletal interactions: evidence for physical connections between the nucleus and cell periphery and their alteration by transformation

J Cell Biochem. 1992 Aug;49(4):357-65. doi: 10.1002/jcb.240490406.


The overall coordination of cell structure and function that results in gene expression requires a spatial and temporal precision that would be unobtainable in the absence of structural order within the cell. Cells contain extensive and elaborate three-dimensional skeletal networks that form integral structural components of the plasma membrane, cytoplasm, and nucleus. These skeletal networks form a dynamic tissue matrix are composed of the nuclear matrix, cytoskeleton, and extracellular matrix. The tissue matrix is an interactive network which undergoes dynamic changes as cells move and change shape. Pathologists have long recognized cancer in pathologic specimens based on the altered morphology of tumor cells compared to their normal counterparts. The structural order of cells appears to be altered in transformed cells. This structural order is reflected in the altered morphology and motility observed in transformed cells compared to their normal counterparts, however, it is unclear whether the structural changes observed in cancer cells have any functional significance. We report here on the nature of the physical connections between the nucleus and cell periphery in nontransformed cells and demonstrate that the nucleus is dynamically coupled to the cell periphery via actin microfilaments. We also demonstrate that the dynamic coupling of the nucleus to the cell periphery via actin microfilaments is altered in Kirsten-ras transformed rat kidney epithelial cells. This loss of structure-function relationship may be an important factor in the process of cell transformation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acrylamide
  • Acrylamides / pharmacology
  • Actins / drug effects
  • Actins / physiology
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Cell Nucleus / physiology*
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / pathology*
  • Colchicine / pharmacology
  • Cytochalasin D / pharmacology
  • Cytoskeleton / drug effects
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology*
  • Rats


  • Acrylamides
  • Actins
  • Acrylamide
  • Cytochalasin D
  • Colchicine