Nuclear matrix

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In biology, the nuclear matrix is the network of fibres found throughout the inside of a cell nucleus and is analogous to the cell cytoskeleton. The exact function of this matrix is still disputed, and it's very existence has recently been called into question.[1] There is evidence that the nuclear matrix is involved in regulation of gene expression in Arabidopsis thaliana. [2]

Problems with nuclear matrix hypothesis

While a matrix structure may be viewed once the nucleus has been isolated, it has been suggested that the process of isolation itself induces fibre-like artifacts. Furthermore, it has been noted that experimental observations of the movement of RNA within the nucleus corresponds well to that expected from a purely diffusive process.

Finally, one may argue that a nuclear matrix is not necessary for nuclear function, and thus Occam's Razor sides with the simpler explanation


  1. See [1]. Evidence for such a structure was recognised as long ago as 1948 (Zbarskii and Debov), and consequently many proteins associated with the matrix have been discovered. The presence of intra-cellular proteins is largely indisputable, and it is well recognized that proteins such as the Scaffold, or Matrix Associated Proteins (SAR or MAR) have some role in the organisation of chromatins.
  2. See, for example [2].

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