Nucleo-cytoplasmic trafficking regulates nuclear surface area during nuclear organogenesis

Vincent Boudreau, James Hazel, Jake Sellinger, Pan Chen, Kathryn Manakova, Rochelle Radzyminski, Hernan Garcia, Jun Allard, Jesse Gatlin, Paul Maddox: Nucleo-cytoplasmic trafficking regulates nuclear surface area during nuclear organogenesis, bioRxiv 326140;  doi: (2018) PDF


Throughout development, nuclei must be assembled following every cell division to establish a functional organelle from compact, mitotic chromatin. During nuclear organogenesis, chromatin expands to establish a nucleus of a given size separate from the cytoplasm. Determining how nuclear organogenesis is regulated is particularly significant in the context of certain cancers in which scaling relationships between cell and nuclear sizes are not maintained. Controlling cell size in vitro using a microfluidics approach, we determined that neither nuclear volume nor surface area scale directly with cell size. Looking to explain differential nuclear scaling relationships, we developed a simple mechano-chemical mathematical model. In simulating biological perturbations in silico, our model predicted crucial roles for nucleo-cytoplasmic trafficking in regulating nuclear expansion and in restricting the recruitment of a potential nuclear surface area factor. In mammalian tissue culture, inhibiting nuclear export increased nuclear expansion rates and reduced the amount of nuclear lamin, a candidate surface area factor, being recruited to assembling nuclei, supporting our model's predictions. Targeting the principal nuclear export component in the Drosophila syncytial embryo, Embargoed, we show that nuclear expansion rates are also increased in this developmental context, consistent with our model. Using the MS2-reporter system in fly embryos, we demonstrate a role for nuclear export in regulating transcription activation timing and dynamics, suggesting that regulating nuclear assembly is crucial for downstream nuclear function. Taken together, we propose a simple model through which nuclear organogenesis is achieved and demonstrate a role for nuclear export in regulating nuclear assembly.