Nuclear and cytoplasmic scaffold proteins have been shown to be essential for temporal and spatial organization, as well as the fidelity, of MAPK signaling pathways. In this study we show that nesprin-2 is a novel extracellular signal-regulated MAPK1 and 2 (ERK1/2) scaffold protein that serves to regulate nuclear signaling by tethering these kinases at promyelocytic leukemia protein nuclear bodies (PML NBs). Using immunofluorescence microscopy, GST pull-down and immunoprecipitation, we show that nesprin-2, ERK1/2, and PML colocalize and bind to form a nuclear complex. Interference of nesprin-2 function, by either siRNA-mediated knockdown or overexpression of a dominant negative nesprin-2 fragment, augmented ERK1/2 nuclear signaling shown by increased SP1 activity and ELK1 phosphorylation. The functional outcome of nesprin-2 disruption and the resultant sustained ERK1/2 signal was increased proliferation. Importantly, these activities were not induced by previously identified nuclear envelope (NE)-targeted nesprin-2 isoforms but rather were mediated by novel nuclear isoforms that lacked the KASH domain. Taken together, this study suggests that nesprin-2 is a novel intranuclear scaffold, essential for nuclear ERK1/2 signaling fidelity and cell cycle progression.
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