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Mol Biol Cell. 2009 Nov;20(21):4586-95. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E08-10-1034. Epub 2009 Sep 16.

SUN-1 and ZYG-12, mediators of centrosome-nucleus attachment, are a functional SUN/KASH pair in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.


Klarsicht/ANC-1/Syne/homology (KASH)/Sad-1/UNC-84 (SUN) protein pairs can act as connectors between cytoplasmic organelles and the nucleoskeleton. Caenorhabditis elegans ZYG-12 and SUN-1 are essential for centrosome-nucleus attachment. Although SUN-1 has a canonical SUN domain, ZYG-12 has a divergent KASH domain. Here, we establish that the ZYG-12 mini KASH domain is functional and, in combination with a portion of coiled-coil domain, is sufficient for nuclear envelope localization. ZYG-12 and SUN-1 are hypothesized to be outer and inner nuclear membrane proteins, respectively, and to interact, but neither their topologies nor their physical interaction has been directly investigated. We show that ZYG-12 is a type II outer nuclear membrane (ONM) protein and that SUN-1 is a type II inner nuclear membrane protein. The proteins interact in the luminal space of the nuclear envelope via the ZYG-12 mini KASH domain and a region of SUN-1 that does not include the SUN domain. SUN-1 is hypothesized to restrict ZYG-12 to the ONM, preventing diffusion through the endoplasmic reticulum. We establish that ZYG-12 is indeed immobile at the ONM by using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching and show that SUN-1 is sufficient to localize ZYG-12 in cells. This work supports current models of KASH/SUN pairs and highlights the diversity in sequence elements defining KASH domains.

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