Although the nuclear envelope is known primarily for its role as a boundary between the nucleus and cytoplasm in eukaryotes, it plays a vital and dynamic role in many cellular processes. Studies of nuclear structure have revealed tissue-specific changes in nuclear envelope architecture, suggesting that its three-dimensional structure contributes to its functionality. Despite the importance of the nuclear envelope, the factors that regulate and maintain nuclear envelope shape remain largely unexplored. The nuclear envelope makes extensive and dynamic interactions with the underlying chromatin. Given this inexorable link between chromatin and the nuclear envelope, it is possible that local and global chromatin organization reciprocally impact nuclear envelope form and function. In this study, we use Drosophila salivary glands to show that the three-dimensional structure of the nuclear envelope can be altered with condensin IImediated chromatin condensation. Both naturally occurring and engineered chromatin-envelope interactions are sufficient to allow chromatin compaction forces to drive distortions of the nuclear envelope. Weakening of the nuclear lamina further enhanced envelope remodeling, suggesting that envelope structure is capable of counterbalancing chromatin compaction forces. Our experiments reveal that the nucleoplasmic reticulum is born of the nuclear envelope and remains dynamic in that they can be reabsorbed into the nuclear envelope. We propose a model where inner nuclear envelope-chromatin tethers allow interphase chromosome movements to change nuclear envelope morphology. Therefore, interphase chromatin compaction may be a normal mechanism that reorganizes nuclear architecture, while under pathological conditions, such as laminopathies, compaction forces may contribute to defects in nuclear morphology.
Bozler, J., Nguyen, H. Q., Rogers, G. C., & Bosco, G. (2015). Condensins exert force on chromatin-nuclear envelope tethers to mediate nucleoplasmic reticulum formation in Drosophila melanogaster. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, 5(3), 341–352. https://doi.org/10.1534/g3.114.015685