DICTIONARY - CELL STRUCTUREi

Nuclear membrane


 Staining of nuclear membrane in human cell line A-431
Scale bar represents 10µm

Nuclear membrane

The nuclear membrane is a lipid bilayer surrounding the nucleus and isolating it from the cytoplasm. This allows separate molecular progresses in the two compartments and secures a highly controlled gene expression in the nucleus. The outer membrane is continuous with the endoplasmic reticulum, whereas the inner membrane serves as an anchoring site for chromatin. Nuclear pore complexes are distributed throughout the membrane and enable a selective transport of molecules between the nucleus and cytoplasm.

Immunofluorescent staining

The nuclear membrane is easy to recognize, the staining forming a thin circle around the nucleus. However, the nuclear membrane is not perfectly smooth and sometimes it is also possible to see the folds of the membrane as small circles or dots inside the nucleus, which can easily be mistaken as nuclear bodies.