Nucleoporins NPP-1, NPP-3, NPP-4, NPP-11 and NPP-13 are required for proper spindle orientation in C. elegans

Aaron Schetter, Peter Askjaer, Fabio Piano, Iain Mattaj, Kenneth Kemphues

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Nucleoporins are components of the nuclear pore, which is required for nucleo-cytoplasmic transport. We report a role for a subclass of nucleoporins in orienting the mitotic spindle in C. elegans embryos. RNAi-mediated depletion of any of five putative nucleoporins npp-1, npp-3, npp-4, npp-11, and npp-13 leads to indistinguishable spindle orientation defects. Transgenic worms expressing NPP-1::GFP or NPP-11::GFP show GFP localization at the nuclear envelope, consistent with their predicted function. NPP-1 interacts with the other nucleoporins in yeast two-hybrid assays, suggesting that the proteins affect spindle orientation by a common process. The failed orientation phenotype of npp-1(RNAi) is at least partially epistatic to the ectopic spindle rotation in the AB blastomere of par-3 mutant embryos. This suggests that NPP-1 contributes to the mechanics of spindle orientation. However, NPP-1 is also required for PAR-6 asymmetry at the two-cell stage, indicating that nucleoporins may be required to define cortical domains in the germ line blastomere P1. Nuclear envelope structure is abnormal in npp-1(RNAi) embryos, but the envelope maintains its integrity, and most nuclear proteins we assayed accumulate normally. These findings raise the possibility that these nucleoporins may have direct roles in orienting the mitotic spindle and the maintenance of cell polarity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-371
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Volume289
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 15 2006

Keywords

  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Embryo
  • Nucleoporins
  • Spindle orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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