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Cell. 2003 Dec 26;115(7):825-36.

The C. elegans hook protein, ZYG-12, mediates the essential attachment between the centrosome and nucleus.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Biology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


The centrosome and nucleus are intimately associated in most animal cells, yet the significance of this interaction is unknown. Mutations in the zyg-12 gene of Caenorhabditis elegans perturb the attachment of the centrosome to the nucleus, giving rise to aberrant spindles and ultimately, DNA segregation defects and lethality. These phenotypes indicate that the attachment is essential. ZYG-12 is a member of the Hook family of cytoskeletal linker proteins and localizes to both the nuclear envelope (via SUN-1) and centrosomes. ZYG-12 is able to bind the dynein subunit DLI-1 in a two-hybrid assay and is required for dynein localization to the nuclear envelope. Loss of dynein function causes a low percentage of defective centrosome/nuclei interactions in both Drosophila and Caenorhabditis elegans. We propose that dynein and ZYG-12 move the centrosomes toward the nucleus, followed by a ZYG-12/SUN-1-dependent anchorage.

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