The genetic information of eukaryotic cells is enclosed within a double-layered nuclear envelope, which comprises an inner and outer nuclear membrane. Several transmembrane proteins locate to the nuclear envelope; however, only two integral protein complexes span the nuclear envelope and connect the inside of the nucleus to the cytoplasm. The nuclear pore complex (NPC) acts as a gateway for molecular exchange between the interior of the nucleus and the cytoplasm, whereas so-called LINC complexes physically link the nucleoskeleton and the cytoskeleton. In this Commentary, we will discuss recent studies that have established direct functional associations between these two complexes. The assembly of NPCs and their even distribution throughout the nuclear envelope is dependent on components of the LINC complex. Additionally, LINC complex formation is dependent on the successful localization of inner nuclear membrane components of LINC complexes and their transport through the NPC. Furthermore, the architecture of the nuclear envelope depends on both protein complexes. Finally, we will present recent evidence showing that LINC complexes can affect nucleo-cytoplasmic transport through the NPC, further highlighting the importance of understanding the associations of these essential complexes at the nuclear envelope.
- © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd