The invariant cell division patterns that characterize Caenorhabditis elegans development make it an ideal system to study the mechanisms that control nuclear movement and positioning. Forward genetic screens in this system allowed identification of the key molecular machinery for connecting the nucleus to the cytoskeleton; pairs of protein partners, consisting of a KASH domain protein and a SUN domain protein, bridge the nuclear envelope to connect the nucleus to cytoskeletal components. The C. elegans genome encodes several KASH/SUN pairs, and mutant phenotypes as well as tissue-specific expression patterns suggest a diversity of functions. These functions include moving the nucleus but have been extended to effects on the chromosomes inside the nucleus as well. We review the impact of the C. elegans system in pioneering this field as well as the functions of these KASH/SUN protein pairs across spatial and temporal C. elegans development.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology