The linker of nucleus and cytoskeleton (LINC) complex, including nesprin-1, has been suggested to be crucial for many biological processes. Previous studies have shown that mutations in nesprin-1 cause abnormal cellular functions and diseases, possibly because of insufficient force transmission to the nucleus through actin filaments (F-actin) bound to nesprin-1. However, little is known regarding the mechanical interaction between the nucleus and F-actin through nesprin-1. In this study, we examined nuclear deformation behavior in nesprin-1 knocked-down endothelial cells (ECs) subjected to uniaxial stretching by evaluating nuclear strain from lateral cross-sectional images. The widths of nuclei in nesprin-1 knocked-down ECs were smaller than those in wild-type cells. In addition, nuclear strain in nesprin-1 knocked-down cells, which is considered to be compressed by the actin cortical layer, increased compared with that in wild-type cells under stretching condition. These results indicate that nesprin-1 knockdown releases the nucleus from the tension of F-actin bound to the nucleus, thereby increasing allowance for deformation before stretching, and that F-actin bound to the nucleus through nesprin-1 causes sustainable force transmission to the nucleus.
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