Fate of the nuclear lamina during Caenorhabditis elegans apoptosis

Yonatan B. Tzur, Bradley M. Hersh, H. Robert Horvitz, Yosef Gruenbaum*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


In vertebrates and in Drosophila, lamins and lamin-associated proteins are primary targets for cleavage by caspases. Eliminating mammalian lamins causes apoptosis, whereas expressing mutant lamins that cannot be cleaved by caspase-6 delay apoptosis. Caenorhabditis elegans has a single lamin protein, Ce-lamin, and a caspase, CED-3, that is responsible for most if not all somatic apoptosis. In this study we show that in C. elegans embryos induced to undergo apoptosis Ce-lamin is degraded surprisingly late. In such embryos CED-4 translocated to the nuclear envelope but the cytological localization of Ce-lamin remained similar to that in wild-type embryos. TUNEL labeling indicated that Ce-lamin was degraded only after DNA is fragmented. Ce-lamin, Ce-emerin, or Ce-MAN1 were not cleaved by recombinant CED-3, showing that these lamina proteins are not substrates for CED-3 cleavage. These results suggest that lamin cleavage probably is not essential for apoptosis in C. elegans.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)146-153
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Structural Biology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Kenny Lee and Kathy Wilson for the Ce-emerin and Ce-MAN1 cDNA constructs and for sharing the two anti-lamin antibodies. We also thank Klaus Weber for the bacterially purified Ce-lamin. We also thank Kathy Wilson for critical reading of the manuscript. This work was supported by grants from the USA-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF), the Israel Science Foundation (ISF), and the German-Israel Foundation (GIF 1-573-036.13) (to Y.G.). B.M.H. was supported by a predoctoral fellowship (Howard Hughes Medical institute). H.R.H. is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.


  • Apoptosis
  • C. elegans
  • Emerin
  • Lamin
  • MAN1
  • Nuclear envelope
  • Programmed cell death


Dive into the research topics of 'Fate of the nuclear lamina during Caenorhabditis elegans apoptosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this