SUN–KASH nuclear envelope bridges formed by WIP and SUN proteins are present in the plant branch of the tree of life but have functionally diverged from their opisthokont counterparts and are involved in nuclear morphology and RanGAP–nuclear envelope association.
Inner nuclear membrane Sad1/UNC-84 (SUN) proteins interact with outer nuclear membrane (ONM) Klarsicht/ANC-1/Syne homology (KASH) proteins, forming linkers of nucleoskeleton to cytoskeleton conserved from yeast to human and involved in positioning of nuclei and chromosomes. Defects in SUN–KASH bridges are linked to muscular dystrophy, progeria, and cancer. SUN proteins were recently identified in plants, but their ONM KASH partners are unknown. Arabidopsis WPP domain–interacting proteins (AtWIPs) are plant-specific ONM proteins that redundantly anchor Arabidopsis RanGTPase–activating protein 1 (AtRanGAP1) to the nuclear envelope (NE). In this paper, we report that AtWIPs are plant-specific KASH proteins interacting with Arabidopsis SUN proteins (AtSUNs). The interaction is required for both AtWIP1 and AtRanGAP1 NE localization. AtWIPs and AtSUNs are necessary for maintaining the elongated nuclear shape of Arabidopsis epidermal cells. Together, our data identify the first KASH members in the plant kingdom and provide a novel function of SUN–KASH complexes, suggesting that a functionally diverged SUN–KASH bridge is conserved beyond the opisthokonts.
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.
Linker of nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton (LINC) complexes span the double membrane of the nuclear envelope (NE) and physically connect nuclear structures to cytoskeletal elements. LINC complexes are envisioned as force transducers in the NE, which facilitate processes like nuclear anchorage and migration, or chromosome movements. The complexes are built from members of two evolutionary conserved families of transmembrane (TM) proteins, the SUN (Sad1/UNC-84) domain proteins in the inner nuclear membrane (INM) and the KASH (Klarsicht/ANC-1/SYNE homology) domain proteins in the outer nuclear membrane (ONM). In the lumen of the NE, the SUN and KASH domains engage in an intimate assembly to jointly form a NE bridge. Detailed insights into the molecular architecture and atomic structure of LINC complexes have recently revealed the molecular basis of nucleo-cytoskeletal coupling. They bear important implications for LINC complex function and suggest new potential and as yet unexplored roles, which the complexes may play in the cell.
LINC complex; SUN domain; KASH domain; nuclear envelope; mechanotransduction; nuclear membrane spacing; spermatogenesis; nuclear pore complex; spindle pole body; membrane fusion
We have recently reported the identification and characterization of Sad1/UNC84 (SUN) domain proteins in various plant species. In animals and yeasts, SUN domain proteins are localized at the inner nuclear membrane and form a bridge across the nuclear envelope (NE) by interacting with outer nuclear membrane-localized Klarsicht/Anc-1/Syne-1 homology (KASH) domain proteins. This bridge physically connects cytoskeletal elements with chromatin and nucleoskeletal components. These multiprotein complexes are essential for various cellular and nuclear processes. The identification of SUN domain proteins provides the first evidence of putative NE bridging complexes in plants. Here we speculate on the composition and functions of these in regards to our current understanding of plant SUN domain proteins.
SUN domain protein; LINC complex; plant nuclear envelope; cytoskeleton; KASH domain proteins; Arabidopsis
In virtually all eukaryotic cells, protein bridges formed by the conserved inner nuclear membrane SUN (for Sad1-UNC-84) domain-containing proteins and their outer nuclear membrane binding partners span the nuclear envelope (NE) to connect the nucleoplasm and cytoplasm. These linkages are important for chromosome movements within the nucleus during meiotic prophase and are essential for nuclear migration and centrosome attachment to the NE. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, MPS3 encodes the sole SUN protein. Deletion of MPS3 or the conserved SUN domain is lethal in three different genetic backgrounds. Mutations in the SUN domain result in defects in duplication of the spindle pole body, the yeast centrosome-equivalent organelle. A genome-wide screen for mutants that exhibited synthetic fitness defects in combination with mps3 SUN domain mutants yielded a large number of hits in components of the spindle apparatus and the spindle checkpoint. Mutants in lipid metabolic processes and membrane organization also exacerbated the growth defects of mps3 SUN domain mutants, pointing to a role for Mps3 in nuclear membrane organization. Deletion of SLP1 or YER140W/EMP65 (for ER membrane protein of 65 kDa) aggravated growth of mps3 SUN domain mutants. Slp1 and Emp65 form an ER-membrane associated protein complex that is not required directly for spindle pole body duplication or spindle assembly. Rather, Slp1 is involved in Mps3 localization to the NE.
Mps3; SUN protein; spindle pole body duplication; nuclear/ER membrane; SGA
Linker of the nucleoskeleton and the cytoskeleton (LINC) complexes are composed of SUN and KASH domain-containing proteins and bridge the inner and outer membranes of the nuclear envelope. LINC complexes play critical roles in nuclear positioning, cell polarization and cellular stiffness. Previously, we reported the homotrimeric structure of human SUN2. We have now determined the crystal structure of the human SUN2-KASH complex. In the complex structure, the SUN domain homotrimer binds to three independent “hook”-like KASH peptides. The overall conformation of the SUN domain in the complex closely resembles the SUN domain in its apo state. A major conformational change involves the AA'-loop of KASH-bound SUN domain, which rearranges to form a mini β-sheet that interacts with the KASH peptide. The PPPT motif of the KASH domain fits tightly into a hydrophobic pocket on the homotrimeric interface of the SUN domain, which we termed the BI-pocket. Moreover, two adjacent protomers of the SUN domain homotrimer sandwich the KASH domain by hydrophobic interaction and hydrogen bonding. Mutations of these binding sites disrupt or reduce the association between the SUN and KASH domains in vitro. In addition, transfection of wild-type, but not mutant, SUN2 promotes cell migration in Ovcar-3 cells. These results provide a structural model of the LINC complex, which is essential for additional study of the physical and functional coupling between the cytoplasm and the nucleoplasm.
crystal structure; SUN2; KASH; LINC complexes; mechanical force transduction; nuclear envelope
SUN2 is an inner nuclear membrane protein with a conserved Sad1/UNC-84 homology SUN-domain at the C-terminus. Intriguingly, SUN2 has also been reported to interact with Rab5, which localizes in early endosomes. To clarify the dual subcellular localization of SUN2, we investigated its localization in lamin A/C deficient cells rescued with lamin A or lamin C isoform, and in HeLa cells transfected with Rab5 or its mutants. We found that expression of lamin A but not lamin C partly restored the nuclear envelope localization of SUN2. SUN2 was redistributed to endosomes upon overexpression of Rab5, but remained on the nuclear envelope when the SUN domain was deleted. To explore the physiological function of SUN2 in vesicle trafficking and endocytosis, we demonstrated the colocalization of endogenous SUN2 and Rab5. Moreover, overexpression of SUN2 stimulated the uptake of transferrin while suppression of SUN2 expression attenuated the process. These findings support a role of SUN2 in endocytosis.
Lamin A is a nuclear lamina constituent expressed in differentiated cells. Mutations in the LMNA gene cause several diseases, including muscular dystrophy and cardiomyopathy. Among the nuclear envelope partners of lamin A are Sad1 and UNC84 domain-containing protein 1 (SUN1) and Sad1 and UNC84 domain-containing protein 2 (SUN2), which mediate nucleo-cytoskeleton interactions critical to the anchorage of nuclei. In this study, we show that differentiating human myoblasts accumulate farnesylated prelamin A, which elicits upregulation and recruitment of SUN1 to the nuclear envelope and favors SUN2 enrichment at the nuclear poles. Indeed, impairment of prelamin A farnesylation alters SUN1 recruitment and SUN2 localization. Moreover, nuclear positioning in myotubes is severely affected in the absence of farnesylated prelamin A. Importantly, reduced prelamin A and SUN1 levels are observed in Emery–Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (EDMD) myoblasts, concomitant with altered myonuclear positioning. These results demonstrate that the interplay between SUN1 and farnesylated prelamin A contributes to nuclear positioning in human myofibers and may be implicated in pathogenetic mechanisms.
muscle differentiation; nuclear positioning; muscular dystrophy; SUN1; prelamin A
The mammalian meiosis-specific KASH protein KASH5 connects the telomere-associated SUN1 protein to the cytoplasmic force–generating mechanism involved in meiotic chromosome movement.
In yeasts and worms, KASH (Klarsicht/ANC-1/Syne/homology) domain and SUN (Sad-1/UNC-84) domain nuclear envelope (NE) proteins play a crucial role in meiotic chromosome movement and homologue pairing. However, although the vertebrate SUN domain protein SUN1 is involved in these processes, its partner has remained identified. Based on subcellular localization screening in mouse spermatocytes, we identified a novel germ cell–specific protein, KASH5, that localized exclusively at telomeres from the leptotene to diplotene stages in both spermatocytes and oocytes. KASH5 possesses hitherto unknown KASH-related sequences that directly interacted with SUN1 and mediated telomere localization. Thus, KASH5 is a mammalian meiosis-specific KASH domain protein. We show that meiotic chromosome movement depended on microtubules and that KASH5 interacted with the microtubule-associated dynein–dynactin complex. These results suggest that KASH5 connects the telomere-associated SUN1 protein to the cytoplasmic force–generating mechanism involved in meiotic chromosome movement. Our study strongly suggests that the meiotic homologue-pairing mechanism mediated by the SUN–KASH NE bridge is highly conserved among eukaryotes.
Nuclear migration and positioning within cells are critical for many developmental processes and are governed by the cytoskeletal network. Although mechanisms of nuclear-cytoskeletal attachment are unclear, growing evidence links a novel family of nuclear envelope (NE) proteins that share a conserved C-terminal SUN (Sad1/UNC-84 homology) domain. Analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans mutants has implicated UNC-84 in actin-mediated nuclear positioning by regulating NE anchoring of a giant actin-binding protein, ANC-1. Here, we report the identification of SUN1 as a lamin A-binding protein in a yeast two-hybrid screen. We demonstrate that SUN1 is an integral membrane protein located at the inner nuclear membrane. While the N-terminal domain of SUN1 is responsible for detergent-resistant association with the nuclear lamina and lamin A binding, lamin A/C expression is not required for SUN1 NE localization. Furthermore, SUN1 does not interact with type B lamins, suggesting that NE localization is ensured by binding to an additional nuclear component(s), most likely chromatin. Importantly, we find that the luminal C-terminal domain of SUN1 interacts with the mammalian ANC-1 homologs nesprins 1 and 2 via their conserved KASH domain. Our data provide evidence of a physical nuclear-cytoskeletal connection that is likely to be a key mechanism in nuclear-cytoplasmic communication and regulation of nuclear position.
Linker of Nucleoskeleton and Cytoskeleton (LINC) complexes span the nuclear envelope and are composed of KASH and SUN proteins residing in the outer and inner nuclear membrane, respectively. LINC formation relies on direct binding of KASH and SUN in the perinuclear space. Thereby, molecular tethers are formed that can transmit forces for chromosome movements, nuclear migration and anchorage. We present crystal structures of the human SUN2-KASH1/2 complex, the core of the LINC complex. The SUN2 domain is rigidly attached to a trimeric coiled-coil that prepositions it to bind three KASH peptides. The peptides bind in three deep and expansive grooves formed between adjacent SUN domains, effectively acting as molecular glue. In addition, a disulfide between conserved cysteines on SUN and KASH covalently links both proteins. The structure provides the basis of LINC complex formation and suggests a model for how LINC complexes might arrange into higher-order clusters to enhance force-coupling.
nuclear envelope; SUN; Nesprin; KASH; nuclear migration
The spindle pole body (SPB) is the sole site of microtubule nucleation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae; yet, details of its assembly are poorly understood. Integral membrane proteins including Mps2 anchor the soluble core SPB in the nuclear envelope. Adjacent to the core SPB is a membrane-associated SPB substructure known as the half-bridge, where SPB duplication and microtubule nucleation during G1 occurs. We found that the half-bridge component Mps3 is the budding yeast member of the SUN protein family (Sad1-UNC-84 homology) and provide evidence that it interacts with the Mps2 C terminus to tether the half-bridge to the core SPB. Mutants in the Mps3 SUN domain or Mps2 C terminus have SPB duplication and karyogamy defects that are consistent with the aberrant half-bridge structures we observe cytologically. The interaction between the Mps3 SUN domain and Mps2 C terminus is the first biochemical link known to connect the half-bridge with the core SPB. Association with Mps3 also defines a novel function for Mps2 during SPB duplication.
The nuclear envelope (NE) is connected to the different types of cytoskeletal elements by linker of nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton (LINC) complexes. LINC complexes exist from yeast to humans, and have preserved their general architecture throughout evolution. They are composed of SUN and KASH domain proteins of the inner and the outer nuclear membrane, respectively. These SUN–KASH bridges are used for the transmission of forces across the NE and support diverse biological processes. Here, we review the function of SUN and KASH domain proteins in various unicellular and multicellular species. Specifically, we discuss their influence on nuclear morphology and cytoskeletal organization. Further, emphasis is given on the role of LINC complexes in nuclear anchorage and migration as well as in genome organization.
LINC complex; SUN domain; KASH; Nesprins; Nuclear migration; Nuclear envelope
Mammalian Sun1 belongs to an evolutionarily conserved family of inner nuclear membrane proteins, which are known as SUN domain proteins. SUN domain proteins interact with KASH domain partners to form bridging complexes, so-called LINC complexes, that physically connect the nuclear interior to the cytoskeleton. LINC complexes are critical for nuclear integrity and play fundamental roles in nuclear positioning, shaping and movement. The mammalian genome codes for at least five different SUN domain proteins used for the formation of a number of different LINC complexes. Recently, we reported on the identification of several Sun1 isoforms, which tremendously enlarges the alternatives to form functional LINC complexes. We now confirmed that Sun1 actually exists in at least seven distinct splice variants. Besides that, we observed that expression of individual Sun1 isoforms remarkably depends on the cell type, suggesting a cell type-specific adaption of Sun1 dependent LINC complexes to specific cellular and physiological requirements.
Sun1; SUN domain protein; LINC complex; mouse; nuclear envelope; isoform
Hereditary hearing loss is the most common sensory deficit. We determined that progressive high-frequency hearing loss in 2 families of Iraqi Jewish ancestry was due to homozygosity for the protein truncating mutation SYNE4 c.228delAT. SYNE4, a gene not previously associated with hearing loss, encodes nesprin-4 (NESP4), an outer nuclear membrane (ONM) protein expressed in the hair cells of the inner ear. The truncated NESP4 encoded by the families’ mutation did not localize to the ONM. NESP4 and SUN domain–containing protein 1 (SUN1), which localizes to the inner nuclear membrane (INM), are part of the linker of nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton (LINC) complex in the nuclear envelope. Mice lacking either Nesp4 or Sun1 were evaluated for hair cell defects and hearing loss. In both Nesp4–/– and Sun1–/– mice, OHCs formed normally, but degenerated as hearing matured, leading to progressive hearing loss. The nuclei of OHCs from mutant mice failed to maintain their basal localization, potentially affecting cell motility and hence the response to sound. These results demonstrate that the LINC complex is essential for viability and normal morphology of OHCs and suggest that the position of the nucleus in sensory epithelial cells is critical for maintenance of normal hearing.
Sun1 and 2 are A-type lamin-binding proteins that, in association with nesprins, form a link between the inner nuclear membranes (INMs) and outer nuclear membranes of mammalian nuclear envelopes. Both immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy reveal that Sun1 but not Sun2 is intimately associated with nuclear pore complexes (NPCs). Topological analyses indicate that Sun1 is a type II integral protein of the INM. Localization of Sun1 to the INM is defined by at least two discrete regions within its nucleoplasmic domain. However, association with NPCs is dependent on the synergy of both nucleoplasmic and lumenal domains. Cells that are either depleted of Sun1 by RNA interference or that overexpress dominant-negative Sun1 fragments exhibit clustering of NPCs. The implication is that Sun1 represents an important determinant of NPC distribution across the nuclear surface.
The nuclear envelope (NE) LINC complex, in mammals comprised of SUN domain and nesprin proteins, provides a direct connection between the nuclear lamina and the cytoskeleton, which contributes to nuclear positioning and cellular rigidity. SUN1 and SUN2 interact with lamin A, but lamin A is only required for NE localization of SUN2, and it remains unclear how SUN1 is anchored. Here, we identify emerin and short nesprin-2 isoforms as novel nucleoplasmic binding partners of SUN1/2. These have overlapping binding sites distinct from the lamin A binding site. However, we demonstrate that tight association of SUN1 with the nuclear lamina depends upon a short motif within residues 209–228, a region that does not interact significantly with known SUN1 binding partners. Moreover, SUN1 localizes correctly in cells lacking emerin. Importantly then, the major determinant of SUN1 NE localization has yet to be identified. We further find that a subset of lamin A mutations, associated with laminopathies Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (EDMD) and Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS), disrupt lamin A interaction with SUN1 and SUN2. Despite this, NE localization of SUN1 and SUN2 is not impaired in cell lines from either class of patients. Intriguingly, SUN1 expression at the NE is instead enhanced in a significant proportion of HGPS but not EDMD cells and strongly correlates with pre-lamin A accumulation due to preferential interaction of SUN1 with pre-lamin A. We propose that these different perturbations in lamin A-SUN protein interactions may underlie the opposing effects of EDMD and HGPS mutations on nuclear and cellular mechanics.
Diseases/Aging; Diseases/Muscular Dystrophy; Methods/Microscopic Imaging; Protein/Protein-protein interactions; Subcellular Organelles/Cytoskeleton; Subcellular Organelles/Nuclear Membrane; Laminopathies
In the fission yeast S. pombe, nuclei are actively positioned at the cell center by microtubules. Here we show that cytoplasmic microtubules are mechanically coupled to the nuclear heterochromatin through proteins embedded in the nuclear envelope. This includes an integral outer nuclear membrane protein of the KASH family (Kms2) and two integral inner nuclear membrane proteins: the SUN-domain protein Sad1 and the novel, conserved protein Ima1. Ima1 specifically binds to heterochromatic regions and promotes the tethering of centromeric DNA to the SUN-KASH complex. In the absence of Ima1, or in cells harboring mutations in the centromeric Ndc80 complex, inefficient coupling of centromeric heterochromatin to Sad1 leads to striking defects in the ability of the nucleus to tolerate microtubule-dependent forces, leading to changes in nuclear shape, loss of spindle pole body components from the nuclear envelope, and partial dissociation of SUN-KASH complexes. This work highlights a novel means of communication between cytoplasmic microtubules and chromatin.
The nucleus is the most prominent cellular organelle, and its sharp boundaries suggest the compartmentalization of the nucleoplasm from the cytoplasm. However, the recent identification of evolutionarily conserved linkers of the nucleoskeleton to the cytoskeleton (LINC) complexes, a family of macromolecular assemblies that span the double membrane of the nuclear envelope, reveals tight physical connections between the two compartments. Here, we review the structure and evolutionary conservation of SUN and KASH domain–containing proteins, whose interaction within the perinuclear space forms the “nuts and bolts” of LINC complexes. Moreover, we discuss the function of these complexes in nuclear, centrosomal, and chromosome dynamics, and their connection to human disease.
The nuclear envelope not only compartmentalizes the genome but is also home to the SUN-KASH domain proteins, which play essential roles both in genome organization and in linking the nucleus to the cytoskeleton. In interphase fission yeast cells, centromeres are clustered near the nuclear periphery. A recent report demonstrates that the inner nuclear membrane SUN domain protein Sad1 and a novel protein Csi1 connect centromeres to the nuclear envelope and that centromere clustering during interphase is critical for the efficient capture of kinetochores by microtubules during mitosis.
nuclear envelope; centromere; kinetochore; SPB; Sad1; Csi1
UNC-84 is required to localize UNC-83 to the nuclear envelope where it functions during nuclear migration. A KASH domain in UNC-83 was identified. KASH domains are conserved in the nuclear envelope proteins Syne/nesprins, Klarsicht, MSP-300, and ANC-1. Caenorhabditis elegans UNC-83 was shown to localize to the outer nuclear membrane and UNC-84 to the inner nuclear membrane in transfected mammalian cells, suggesting the KASH and SUN protein targeting mechanisms are conserved. Deletion of the KASH domain of UNC-83 blocked nuclear migration and localization to the C. elegans nuclear envelope. Some point mutations in the UNC-83 KASH domain disrupted nuclear migration, even if they localized normally. At least two separable portions of the C-terminal half of UNC-84 were found to interact with the UNC-83 KASH domain in a membrane-bound, split-ubiquitin yeast two-hybrid system. However, the SUN domain was essential for UNC-84 function and UNC-83 localization in vivo. These data support the model that KASH and SUN proteins bridge the nuclear envelope, connecting the nuclear lamina to cytoskeletal components. This mechanism seems conserved across eukaryotes and is the first proposed mechanism to target proteins specifically to the outer nuclear membrane.
LINC complexes are nuclear envelope bridging protein structures formed by interaction of SUN and KASH proteins. They physically connect the nucleus with the peripheral cytoskeleton and are critically involved in a variety of dynamic processes, such as nuclear anchorage, movement and positioning and meiotic chromosome dynamics. Moreover, they are shown to be essential for maintaining nuclear shape.
Based on detailed expression analysis and biochemical approaches, we show here that during mouse sperm development, a terminal cell differentiation process characterized by profound morphogenic restructuring, two novel distinctive LINC complexes are established. They consist either of spermiogenesis-specific Sun3 and Nesprin1 or Sun1η, a novel non-nuclear Sun1 isoform, and Nesprin3. We could find that these two LINC complexes specifically polarize to opposite spermatid poles likely linking to sperm-specific cytoskeletal structures. Although, as shown in co-transfection/immunoprecipitation experiments, SUN proteins appear to arbitrarily interact with various KASH partners, our study demonstrates that they actually are able to confine their binding to form distinct LINC complexes.
Formation of the mammalian sperm head involves assembly and different polarization of two novel spermiogenesis-specific LINC complexes. Together, our findings suggest that theses LINC complexes connect the differentiating spermatid nucleus to surrounding cytoskeletal structures to enable its well-directed shaping and elongation, which in turn is a critical parameter for male fertility.
Telomere-localized SUN and KASH proteins induce formation of a microtubule-based “telocentrosome” that fosters microtubule motor-dependent telomere clustering.
During meiosis, telomeres cluster and promote homologous chromosome pairing. Telomere clustering requires the interaction of telomeres with the nuclear membrane proteins SUN (Sad1/UNC-84) and KASH (Klarsicht/ANC-1/Syne homology). The mechanism by which telomeres gather remains elusive. In this paper, we show that telomere clustering in fission yeast depends on microtubules and the microtubule motors, cytoplasmic dynein, and kinesins. Furthermore, the γ-tubulin complex (γ-TuC) is recruited to SUN- and KASH-localized telomeres to form a novel microtubule-organizing center that we termed the “telocentrosome.” Telocentrosome formation depends on the γ-TuC regulator Mto1 and on the KASH protein Kms1, and depletion of either Mto1 or Kms1 caused severe telomere clustering defects. In addition, the dynein light chain (DLC) contributes to telocentrosome formation, and simultaneous depletion of DLC and dynein also caused severe clustering defects. Thus, the telocentrosome is essential for telomere clustering. We propose that telomere-localized SUN and KASH induce telocentrosome formation and that subsequent microtubule motor-dependent aggregation of telocentrosomes via the telocentrosome-nucleated microtubules causes telomere clustering.
Csi1 promotes centromere clustering by linking centromeres to the SUN domain protein Sad1 in the nuclear envelope.
In the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the centromeres of each chromosome are clustered together and attached to the nuclear envelope near the site of the spindle pole body during interphase. The mechanism and functional importance of this arrangement of chromosomes are poorly understood. In this paper, we identified a novel nuclear protein, Csi1, that localized to the site of centromere attachment and interacted with both the inner nuclear envelope SUN domain protein Sad1 and centromeres. Both Csi1 and Sad1 mutants exhibited centromere clustering defects in a high percentage of cells. Csi1 mutants also displayed a high rate of chromosome loss during mitosis, significant mitotic delays, and sensitivity to perturbations in microtubule–kinetochore interactions and chromosome numbers. These studies thus define a molecular link between the centromere and nuclear envelope that is responsible for centromere clustering.
The Caenorhabditis elegans inner nuclear envelope protein matefin/SUN-1 plays a conserved, pivotal role in the process of genome haploidization. CHK-2–dependent phosphorylation of SUN-1 regulates homologous chromosome pairing and interhomolog recombination in Caenorhabditis elegans. Using time-lapse microscopy, we characterized the movement of matefin/SUN-1::GFP aggregates (the equivalent of chromosomal attachment plaques) and showed that the dynamics of matefin/SUN-1 aggregates remained unchanged throughout leptonene/zygotene, despite the progression of pairing. Movement of SUN-1 aggregates correlated with chromatin polarization. We also analyzed the requirements for the formation of movement-competent matefin/SUN-1 aggregates in the context of chromosome structure and found that chromosome axes were required to produce wild-type numbers of attachment plaques. Abrogation of synapsis led to a deceleration of SUN-1 aggregate movement. Analysis of matefin/SUN-1 in a double-strand break deficient mutant revealed that repair intermediates influenced matefin/SUN-1 aggregate dynamics. Investigation of movement in meiotic regulator mutants substantiated that proper orchestration of the meiotic program and effective repair of DNA double-strand breaks were necessary for the wild-type behavior of matefin/SUN-1 aggregates.
During meiosis, homologous chromosomes from each parent must pair, synapse, and recombine before being assorted to the gametes. In Caenorhabditis elegans, to find the correct pairing partner, telomere-led chromosome movement occurs in a restricted subvolume of the nucleus. This feature is comparable to the widely conserved meiotic bouquet, a configuration where telomeres cluster in a limited area at the nuclear periphery. Chromosomes are moved by cytoskeletal forces transmitted via the SUN/KASH bridge across the nuclear envelope, and abrogation of movement leads to precocious nonhomologous synapsis. Using live cell imaging, we followed the movement of matefin/SUN-1 aggregates, which highlight chromosome ends. Instead of single chromosome ends looking for their homologous partners, we observed that duplets/multiplets and single chromosome ends were brought together into “patches” by the ongoing movement during the leptotene/zygotene stages of meiosis. Chromosome ends then shuffled through these patches in search of the correct partner. This study was a comprehensive analysis of matefin/SUN-1 aggregate dynamics in wild type, known Caenorhabditis elegans pairing mutants, and the recombination mutant spo-11; and it examined the contributions of these genotypes to leptotene/zygotene chromosome movement.