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The assembly of C. elegans lamins into macroscopic fibers


Zingerman-Koladko, Irena; Khayat, Maayan; Harapin, Jan; Shoseyov, Oded; Gruenbaum, Yosef; Salman, Ahmad; Medalia, Ohad; Ben-Harush, Kfir (2016). The assembly of C. elegans lamins into macroscopic fibers. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 63:35-43.

Abstract

Intermediate filament (IF) proteins are known mainly by their propensity to form viscoelastic filamentous networks within cells. In addition, IF-proteins are essential parts of various biological materials, such as horn and hagfish slime threads, which exhibit a range of mechanical properties from hard to elastic. These properties and their self-assembly nature made IF-proteins attractive building blocks for biomimetic and biological materials in diverse applications. Here we show that a type V IF-protein, the Caenorhabditis elegans nuclear lamin (Ce-lamin), is a promising building block for protein-based fibers. Electron cryo-tomography of vitrified sections enabled us to depict the higher ordered assembly of the Ce-lamin into macroscopic fibers through the creation of paracrystalline fibers, which are prominent in vitro structures of lamins. The lamin fibers respond to tensile force as other IF-protein-based fibers, i.e., hagfish slime threads, and possess unique mechanical properties that may potentially be used in certain applications. The self-assembly nature of lamin proteins into a filamentous structure, which is further assembled into a complex network, can be easily modulated. This knowledge may lead to a better understanding of the relationship in IF-proteins-based fibers and materials, between their hierarchical structures and their mechanical properties.

Abstract

Intermediate filament (IF) proteins are known mainly by their propensity to form viscoelastic filamentous networks within cells. In addition, IF-proteins are essential parts of various biological materials, such as horn and hagfish slime threads, which exhibit a range of mechanical properties from hard to elastic. These properties and their self-assembly nature made IF-proteins attractive building blocks for biomimetic and biological materials in diverse applications. Here we show that a type V IF-protein, the Caenorhabditis elegans nuclear lamin (Ce-lamin), is a promising building block for protein-based fibers. Electron cryo-tomography of vitrified sections enabled us to depict the higher ordered assembly of the Ce-lamin into macroscopic fibers through the creation of paracrystalline fibers, which are prominent in vitro structures of lamins. The lamin fibers respond to tensile force as other IF-protein-based fibers, i.e., hagfish slime threads, and possess unique mechanical properties that may potentially be used in certain applications. The self-assembly nature of lamin proteins into a filamentous structure, which is further assembled into a complex network, can be easily modulated. This knowledge may lead to a better understanding of the relationship in IF-proteins-based fibers and materials, between their hierarchical structures and their mechanical properties.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Biochemistry
07 Faculty of Science > Department of Biochemistry
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:4 June 2016
Deposited On:28 Jul 2016 12:19
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 20:01
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1751-6161
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmbbm.2016.05.037
PubMed ID:27341289

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