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An ESCRT-LEM domain inner nuclear membrane protein surveillance system is poised to directly monitor the integrity of the nuclear envelope barrier and nuclear transport system

By David J. Thaller, Matteo Allegretti, Sapan Borah, Paolo Ronchi, Martin Beck, C Patrick Lusk

Posted 17 Jan 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/523670

The integrity of the nuclear envelope membranes coupled to the diffusion barrier and selective transport properties of nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) are a prerequisite for the robust segregation of nucleoplasm and cytoplasm. Recent work supports that mechanical membrane disruption or perturbation to NPC assembly can trigger an ESCRT-dependent surveillance system that seals nuclear envelope pores: how these pores are sensed and sealed remains to be fully defined. Here, we show that the principal components of the nuclear envelope surveillance system in yeast, which includes the ESCRT Chm7 and the integral inner nuclear membrane (INM) protein Heh1, are spatially segregated by the nuclear transport system. Specifically, at steady state Chm7 is actively restricted from the nucleus by Crm1/Xpo1. Consistent with the idea that it is the exposure of the INM that triggers surveillance, the expression of a transmembrane anchor and the winged helix domain of Heh1 is sufficient to recruit and activate Chm7 at a membrane interface. Correlative light electron tomography under conditions of Chm7 hyper-activation further show the formation of an elaborate network of fenestrated sheets at the INM and suggest ER-membrane delivery at sites of nuclear envelope herniation. Our data point to a model in which exposure of Chm7 to Heh1, driven by any perturbation in the nuclear envelope barrier would lead to local nuclear envelope remodeling to promote membrane sealing. Our findings have implications for disease mechanisms associated with defects in NPC assembly and nuclear envelope integrity.

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