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Neuron. 2009 Oct 29;64(2):173-87. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2009.08.018.

SUN1/2 and Syne/Nesprin-1/2 complexes connect centrosome to the nucleus during neurogenesis and neuronal migration in mice.

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Institute of Developmental Biology and Molecular Medicine, School of Life Science, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.


Nuclear movement is critical during neurogenesis and neuronal migration, which are fundamental for mammalian brain development. Although dynein, Lis1, and other cytoplasmic proteins are known for their roles in connecting microtubules to the nucleus during interkinetic nuclear migration (INM) and nucleokinesis, the factors connecting dynein/Lis1 to the nuclear envelope (NE) remain to be determined. We report here that the SUN-domain proteins SUN1 and SUN2 and the KASH-domain proteins Syne-1/Nesprin-1 and Syne-2/Nesprin-2 play critical roles in neurogenesis and neuronal migration in mice. We show that SUN1 and SUN2 redundantly form complexes with Syne-2 to mediate the centrosome-nucleus coupling during both INM and radial neuronal migration in the cerebral cortex. Syne-2 is connected to the centrosome through interactions with both dynein/dynactin and kinesin complexes. Syne-2 mutants also display severe defects in learning and memory. These results fill an important gap in our understanding of the mechanism of nuclear movement during brain development.

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