Over the last few years, several novel proteins have been identified that facilitate the physical integration of the nucleus with the cytoplasmic compartment. The majority belong to the evolutionarily conserved KASH [klarsicht/ANC-1 (anchorage 1)/SYNE (synaptic nuclear envelope protein) homology]-domain family, which function primarily as exclusive outer nuclear membrane scaffolds that associate with the cytoskeleton, the centrosome and the motor protein apparatus. In the present paper, we propose a novel model, which may explain why these proteins also determine nuclear architecture. Moreover, we discuss further nuclear membrane-tethering devices, which indicate collectively the presence of specific molecular mechanisms that organize the cytoplasmic–nuclear membrane interface in mammalian cells.

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