Super-resolution microscopy reveals focal organization of ER-associated Y-complexes in mitosis

EMBO Rep. 2023 Sep 6;24(9):e56766. doi: 10.15252/embr.202356766. Epub 2023 Jul 20.


During mitotic entry of vertebrate cells, nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) are rapidly disintegrated. NPC disassembly is initiated by hyperphosphorylation of linker nucleoporins (Nups), which leads to the dissociation of FG repeat Nups and relaxation of the nuclear permeability barrier. However, less is known about disintegration of the huge nuclear and cytoplasmic rings, which are formed by annular assemblies of Y-complexes that are dissociated from NPCs as intact units. Surprisingly, we observe that Y-complex Nups display slower dissociation kinetics compared with other Nups during in vitro NPC disassembly, indicating a mechanistic difference in the disintegration of Y-based rings. Intriguingly, biochemical experiments reveal that a fraction of Y-complexes remains associated with mitotic ER membranes, supporting recent microscopic observations. Visualization of mitotic Y-complexes by super-resolution microscopy demonstrates that they form two classes of higher order assemblies: large clusters at kinetochores and small, focal ER-associated assemblies. These, however, lack features qualifying them as persisting ring-shaped subassemblies previously proposed to serve as structural templates for NPC reassembly during mitotic exit, which helps to refine current models of nuclear reassembly.

Keywords: NPC disassembly; Y-complex; mitosis; nuclear pore complex; nucleoporin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Nucleus
  • Microscopy*
  • Mitosis*
  • Nuclear Pore
  • Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins / genetics


  • Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins