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EMBO J. 2011 Jul 22;30(16):3337-52. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2011.242.

Targeting of Nbp1 to the inner nuclear membrane is essential for spindle pole body duplication.

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  • 1Zentrum für Molekulare Biologie der Universität Heidelberg, DKFZ-ZMBH Allianz, Heidelberg, Germany.


Spindle pole bodies (SPBs), like nuclear pore complexes, are embedded in the nuclear envelope (NE) at sites of fusion of the inner and outer nuclear membranes. A network of interacting proteins is required to insert a cytoplasmic SPB precursor into the NE. A central player of this network is Nbp1 that interacts with the conserved integral membrane protein Ndc1. Here, we establish that Nbp1 is a monotopic membrane protein that is essential for SPB insertion at the inner face of the NE. In vitro and in vivo studies identified an N-terminal amphipathic α-helix of Nbp1 as a membrane-binding element, with crucial functions in SPB duplication. The karyopherin Kap123 binds to a nuclear localization sequence next to this amphipathic α-helix and prevents unspecific tethering of Nbp1 to membranes. After transport into the nucleus, Nbp1 binds to the inner nuclear membrane. These data define the targeting pathway of a SPB component and suggest that the amphipathic α-helix of Nbp1 is important for SPB insertion into the NE from within the nucleus.

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