UNC-83 is a nuclear-specific cargo adaptor for kinesin-1-mediated nuclear migration

Marina Meyerzon, Heidi N. Fridolfsson, Nina Ly, Francis J. McNally, Daniel A. Starr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Intracellular nuclear migration is essential for many cellular events including fertilization, establishment of polarity, division and differentiation. How nuclei migrate is not understood at the molecular level. The C. elegans KASH protein UNC-83 is required for nuclear migration and localizes to the outer nuclear membrane. UNC-83 interacts with the inner nuclear membrane SUN protein UNC-84 and is proposed to connect the cytoskeleton to the nuclear lamina. Here, we show that UNC-83 also interacts with the kinesin-1 light chain KLC-2, as identified in a yeast two-hybrid screen and confirmed by in vitro assays. UNC-83 interacts with and recruits KLC-2 to the nuclear envelope in a heterologous tissue culture system. Additionally, analysis of mutant phenotypes demonstrated that both KLC-2 and the kinesin-1 heavy chain UNC-116 are required for nuclear migration. Finally, the requirement for UNC-83 in nuclear migration could be partially bypassed by expressing a synthetic outer nuclear membrane KLC-2::KASH fusion protein. Our data support a model in which UNC-83 plays a central role in nuclear migration by acting to bridge the nuclear envelope and as a kinesin-1 cargo-specific adaptor so that motor-generated forces specifically move the nucleus as a single unit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2725-2733
Number of pages9
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 15 2009


  • KASH proteins
  • Kinesin-1
  • Nuclear envelope
  • Nuclear migration
  • SUN proteins
  • UNC-83

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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