The mitotic spindle assembly and chromosome segregation in eukaryotes must be coordinated with the nuclear envelope (NE) remodeling. In a so-called 'open' mitosis the envelope of the mother nucleus is dismantled allowing the cytoplasmic spindle microtubules to capture the chromosomes. Alternatively, cells undergoing 'closed' mitosis assemble the intranuclear spindle and divide the nucleus without ever losing the nucleocytoplasmic compartmentalization. Here we focus on the mechanisms underlying mitotic NE dynamics in unicellular eukaryotes undergoing a closed nuclear division, paying specific attention to the emerging roles of the lipid biosynthesis machinery in this process. We argue that lessons learned in these organisms may be generally relevant to understanding the NE remodeling and the evolution of mitotic mechanisms throughout the eukaryotic domain.
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