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J Cell Sci. 2009 Mar 1;122(Pt 5):577-86. doi: 10.1242/jcs.037622.

A nuclear-envelope bridge positions nuclei and moves chromosomes.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


Positioning the nucleus is essential for the formation of polarized cells, pronuclear migration, cell division, cell migration and the organization of specialized syncytia such as mammalian skeletal muscles. Proteins that are required for nuclear positioning also function during chromosome movement and pairing in meiosis. Defects in these processes lead to human diseases including laminopathies. To properly position the nucleus or move chromosomes within the nucleus, the cell must specify the outer surface of the nucleus and transfer forces across both membranes of the nuclear envelope. KASH proteins are specifically recruited to the outer nuclear membrane by SUN proteins, which reside in the inner nuclear membrane. KASH and SUN proteins physically interact in the perinuclear space, forming a bridge across the two membranes of the nuclear envelope. The divergent N-terminal domains of KASH proteins extend from the surface of the nucleus into the cytoplasm and interact with the cytoskeleton, whereas the N-termini of SUN proteins extend into the nucleoplasm to interact with the lamina or chromatin. The bridge of SUN and KASH across the nuclear envelope functions to transfer forces that are generated in the cytoplasm into the nucleoplasm during nuclear migration, nuclear anchorage, centrosome attachment, intermediate-filament association and telomere clustering.

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