Dynamics of Arabidopsis SUN proteins during mitosis and their involvement in nuclear shaping

Plant J. 2011 May;66(4):629-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2011.04523.x. Epub 2011 Mar 21.


The nuclear envelope (NE) is a highly active structure with a specific set of nuclear envelope proteins acting in diverse cellular events. SUN proteins are conserved NE proteins among eukaryotes. Although they form nucleocytoplasmic linkage complexes in metazoan cells, their functions in the plant kingdom are unknown. To understand the function of plant SUN proteins, in this study we first investigated the dynamics of Arabidopsis SUN proteins during mitosis in Arabidopsis roots and cultured cells. For this purpose, we performed dual and triple visualization of these proteins, microtubules, chromosomes, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in cultured cells, and observed their dynamics during mitosis using a high-speed spinning disk confocal microscope. The localizations of SUN proteins changed dynamically during mitosis, tightly coupled with NE dynamics. Moreover, NE re-formation marked with SUN proteins is temporally and spatially coordinated with plant-specific microtubule structures such as phragmoplasts. Finally, the analysis with gene knockdowns of AtSUN1 and AtSUN2 indicated that they are necessary for the maintenance and/or formation of polarized nuclear shape in root hairs. These results suggest that Arabidopsis SUN proteins function in the maintenance or formation of nuclear shape as components of the nucleocytoskeletal complex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agrobacterium tumefaciens
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Nucleus / genetics
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytoplasm / genetics
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / genetics
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Mitosis*
  • Nuclear Envelope / metabolism*
  • Plant Roots / cytology
  • Plant Roots / metabolism*
  • Protein Transport
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins