DOI: 10.1101/511451Jan 3, 2019Paper

Cytoplasmic volume and limiting nucleoplasmin scale nuclear size during Xenopus laevis development

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Pan ChenDaniel L Levy


How nuclear size is regulated relative to cell size is a fundamental cell biological question. Reductions in both cell and nuclear sizes during Xenopus laevis embryogenesis provide a robust scaling system to study mechanisms of nuclear size regulation. To test if the volume of embryonic cytoplasm is limiting for nuclear growth, we encapsulated gastrula stage embryonic cytoplasm and nuclei in droplets of defined volume using microfluidics. Nuclei grew and reached new steady-state sizes as a function of cytoplasmic volume, supporting a limiting component mechanism of nuclear size control. Through biochemical fractionation, we identified the histone chaperone nucleoplasmin (Npm2) as a putative nuclear size-scaling factor. Cellular amounts of Npm2 decrease over development, and nuclear size was sensitive to Npm2 levels both in vitro and in vivo, affecting nuclear histone levels and chromatin organization. Thus, reductions in cell volume with concomitant decreases in Npm2 amounts represent a developmental mechanism of nuclear size-scaling that may also be relevant to cancers with increased nuclear size.

Related Concepts

Malignant Neoplasms
Cell Nucleus
Embryonic Development
Xenopus laevis
Biochemical Test

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