Getting into Position: Nuclear Movement in Muscle Cells

Trends Cell Biol. 2020 Apr;30(4):303-316. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2020.01.002. Epub 2020 Jan 30.


The positioning of nuclei within the cell is a dynamic process that depends on the cell's fate and developmental stage and that is adjusted for optimal cell function. This is especially true in skeletal muscle cells, which contain hundreds of myonuclei distributed evenly along the periphery of the muscle cell. Mispositioned myonuclei are often associated with muscle dysfunction and disease. Different mechanisms governing myonuclear positioning are now emerging, with several of the new genes implicated in nuclear movement linked to human muscle disease. Here we discuss the recent advances in myonuclear positioning and its implications for muscle size and function from the view of Drosophila. Additionally, we highlight similarities and differences to mammalian systems and provide connections to human muscle disease.

Keywords: Drosophila; LINC complex; cytoskeleton; muscle; muscle disease; nuclear positioning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / cytology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology
  • Humans
  • Movement
  • Muscle Cells / cytology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / cytology