The LINC complex mechanically couples cytoskeletal and nuclear components across the nuclear envelope to fulfil a myriad of cellular functions, including nuclear shape and positioning, hearing and meiotic chromosome movements. The canonical model is that 3:3 interactions between SUN and KASH proteins underlie the nucleocytoskeletal linkages provided by the LINC complex. Here, we provide crystallographic and biophysical evidence that SUN-KASH is a constitutive 6:6 complex in which two constituent 3:3 complexes interact head-to-head. A common SUN-KASH topology is achieved through structurally diverse 6:6 interaction mechanisms by distinct KASH proteins, including zinc-coordination by Nesprin-4. The SUN-KASH 6:6 interface provides a molecular mechanism for the establishment of integrative and distributive connections between 3:3 structures within a branched LINC complex network. In this model, SUN-KASH 6:6 complexes act as nodes for force distribution and integration between adjacent SUN and KASH molecules, enabling the coordinated transduction of large forces across the nuclear envelope.
Crystallographic structure factors and atomic coordinates have been deposited in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) under accession numbers 6R15, 6R16 and 6R2I, and raw diffraction data have been uploaded to https://proteindiffraction.org/. SEC-SAXS data have been deposited in the Small Angle Scattering Biological Data Bank (https://www.sasbdb.org/) under accession numbers SASDJC5, SASDJD5, SASDJE5 and SASDJF5. Uncropped gel images relating to Figures 4b and 5a are available in source data files.
- Owen Richard Davies
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Megan C King, Yale School of Medicine, United States
© 2021, Gurusaran & Davies
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.