Electron microscopy of intermediate filaments : teaming up with atomic force and confocal laser scanning microscopy

Kreplak, Laurent and Richter, Karsten and Aebi, Ueli and Herrmann, Harald. (2008) Electron microscopy of intermediate filaments : teaming up with atomic force and confocal laser scanning microscopy. Methods in cell biology, vol. 88. pp. 273-297.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5259465

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Intermediate filaments (IFs) were originally discovered and defined by electron microscopy in myoblasts. In the following it was demonstrated and confirmed that they constitute, in addition to microtubules and microfilaments, a third independent, general filament system in the cytoplasm of most metazoan cells. In contrast to the other two systems, IFs are present in cells in two principally distinct cytoskeletal forms: (i) extended and free-running filament arrays in the cytoplasm that are integrated into the cytoskeleton by associated proteins of the plakin type; and (ii) a membrane- and chromatin-bound thin 'lamina' of a more or less regular network of interconnected filaments made from nuclear IF proteins, the lamins, which differ in several important structural aspects from cytoplasmic IF proteins. In man, more than 65 genes code for distinct IF proteins that are expressed during embryogenesis in various routes of differentiation in a tightly controlled manner. IF proteins exhibit rather limited sequence identity implying that the different types of IFs have distinct biochemical properties. Hence, to characterize the structural properties of the various IFs, in vitro assembly regimes have been developed in combination with different visualization methods such as transmission electron microscopy of fixed and negatively stained samples as well as methods that do not use staining such as scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and cryoelectron microscopy as well as atomic force microscopy. Moreover, with the generation of both IF-type specific antibodies and chimeras of fluorescent proteins and IF proteins, it has become possible to investigate the subcellular organization of IFs by correlative fluorescence and electron microscopic methods. The combination of these powerful methods should help to further develop our understanding of nuclear architecture, in particular how nuclear subcompartments are organized and in which way lamins are involved.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Former Organization Units Biozentrum > Structural Biology (Aebi)
UniBasel Contributors:Aebi, Ueli
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Also published in: Introduction to electron microscopy for biologists. - Amsterdam : Elsevier, 2008. - S. 273-297 -- Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:07 Aug 2015 12:06
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:59

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