The diverse functional LINCs of the nuclear envelope to the cytoskeleton and chromatin

Chromosoma. 2013 Oct;122(5):415-29. doi: 10.1007/s00412-013-0417-x. Epub 2013 Jun 5.


The nuclear envelope (NE) is connected to the different types of cytoskeletal elements by linker of nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton (LINC) complexes. LINC complexes exist from yeast to humans, and have preserved their general architecture throughout evolution. They are composed of SUN and KASH domain proteins of the inner and the outer nuclear membrane, respectively. These SUN-KASH bridges are used for the transmission of forces across the NE and support diverse biological processes. Here, we review the function of SUN and KASH domain proteins in various unicellular and multicellular species. Specifically, we discuss their influence on nuclear morphology and cytoskeletal organization. Further, emphasis is given on the role of LINC complexes in nuclear anchorage and migration as well as in genome organization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chromatin / genetics*
  • Cytoskeleton / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Microtubules / genetics
  • Nuclear Envelope / genetics*
  • Nuclear Matrix / genetics
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary


  • Chromatin
  • Membrane Proteins