(1) The removal of the nuclear envelope from isolated rat-liver nuclei by washing with Triton X-100 (TX-100) was assessed by electron microscopy. All the envelope was removed by 0.04% (w/v) TX-100. (2) After this removal, phosphorylation of inositol lipids and diacylglycerol (DAG) from [γ-32P]ATP still occurs, despite the near complete absence of detectable (by mass assay) DAG and PtdIns. This suggests that the majority of these two lipids in nuclei are present in the nuclear membrane, but the small amounts remaining after extraction, defined as intranuclear, are available for phosphorylation by lipid kinases (36% for DAG and 24% for PtdIns respectively, when expressed as a percentage of incorporation of intact nuclei). (3) PtdIns(4,5)P2 did not follow the same pattern as PtdIns and DAG; after removal of the nuclear membrane, 40% of the mass of this lipid was left in the nucleus. Moreover, a similar amount of PtdIns(4,5)P2 was also resistant to extraction with even higher concentrations of detergent, suggesting that PtdIns(4,5)P2 has a discrete intranuclear location, probably bound to nuclear proteins. (4) Addition of exogenous substrates, PtdIns, PtdIns(4)P and DAG, to membrane-depleted nuclei resulted in reconstitution of the majority of lipid phosphorylations from [γ-32P]ATP (70%, 90% and 94% of intact nuclei respectively), suggesting a predominantly intranuclear location for the respective kinases. (5) Nuclei also showed phosphomonoesterase and phosphatidic acid hydrolase activity; dephosphorylation of pre-radiolabelled PtdIns(4)P, PtdIns(4,5)P2 and phosphatidic acid was observed when [γ-32P]ATP was removed. However, some of the radioactivity was apparently resistant to these enzymes, suggesting the existence of multiple pools of these lipids. (6) Addition of excess non-radiolabelled ATP to nuclei pre-labelled with [γ-32P]ATP resulted in an initial increase in the label in PtdIns(4,5)P2, implying a precursor-product relationship between the radiolabelled pools of PtdIns(4)P and PtdIns(4,5)P2. This was confirmed by analysis of the incorporation of 32P into the 4ʹ-phosphate group of PtdIns(4)P and the individual 4ʹ- and 5ʹ-phosphate groups of PtdIns(4,5)P2. The data from these experiments also indicated that PtdIns(4,5)P2 can be produced from a pre-existing pool of PtdIns(4)P, as well as de novo from PtdIns. (7) Taken together our data suggest that isolated rat-liver nuclei have an intranuclear inositol lipid metabolism mechanism utilizing enzymes and substrates equivalent to those found in cytosol and plasma membrane, and that there may be some, but not complete, compartmentalization of the components of the nuclear inositol cycle.

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