Opposing microtubule motors drive robust nuclear dynamics in developing muscle cells

Journal of Cell Science (Impact Factor: 5.33). 05/2012; 125(17). DOI: 10.1242/jcs.108688
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Dynamic interactions with the cytoskeleton drive the movement and positioning of nuclei in many cell types. During muscle cell development, myoblasts fuse to form syncytial myofibers with nuclei positioned regularly along the length of the cell. Nuclear translocation in developing myotubes requires microtubules, but the mechanisms involved have not been elucidated. We find that as nuclei actively translocate through the cell, they rotate in three-dimensions. The nuclear envelope, nucleoli, and chromocenters within the nucleus rotate together as a unit. Both translocation and rotation require an intact microtubule cytoskeleton, which forms a dynamic bipolar network around nuclei. The plus- and minus-end directed microtubule motor proteins, kinesin-1 and dynein, localize to the nuclear envelope in myotubes. Kinesin-1 localization is mediated at least in part by interaction with klarsicht/ANC-1/Syne homology (KASH) proteins. Depletion of kinesin-1 abolishes nuclear rotation and significantly inhibits nuclear translocation, resulting in the abnormal aggregation of nuclei at the midline of the myotube. Dynein depletion also inhibits nuclear dynamics, but to a lesser extent, leading to altered spacing between adjacent nuclei. Thus, oppositely directed motors acting from the surface of the nucleus drive nuclear motility in myotubes. The variable dynamics observed for individual nuclei within a single myotube likely result from the stochastic activity of competing motors interacting with a complex bipolar microtubule cytoskeleton that is also continuously remodeled as the nuclei move. The three-dimensional rotation of myotube nuclei may facilitate their motility through the complex and crowded cellular environment of the developing muscle cell, allowing for proper myonuclear positioning.

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