Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

The nuclear envelope localization of DYT1 dystonia torsinA-ΔE requires the SUN1 LINC complex component

Michael T Jungwirth, Dhivya Kumar, Danielle Y Jeong and Rose E Goodchild*

Author Affiliations

Department of Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA

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BMC Cell Biology 2011, 12:24  doi:10.1186/1471-2121-12-24

Published: 31 May 2011



DYT1 dystonia is an autosomal dominant neurological condition caused by a mutation that removes a single glutamic acid residue (ΔE) from the torsinA (torA) AAA+ protein. TorA appears to possess a nuclear envelope (NE) localized activity that requires Lamina-Associated-Polypeptide 1 (LAP1), which is an inner nuclear membrane localized torA-binding partner. Although hypoactive, the DYT1 dystonia torA-ΔE isoform often concentrates in the NE, suggesting that torA-ΔE also interacts with an NE-localized binding partner.


We confirm that NE-localized torA-ΔE does not co-immunoprecipitate with LAP1, and find that torA-ΔE continues to concentrate in the NE of cells that lack LAP1. Instead, we find that variability in torA-ΔE localization correlates with the presence of the SUN-domain and Nesprin proteins that assemble into the LINC complex. We also find that siRNA depletion of SUN1, but not other LINC complex components, removes torA-ΔE from the NE. In contrast, the LAP1-dependent NE-accumulation of an ATP-locked torA mutant is unaffected by loss of LINC complex proteins. This SUN1 dependent torA-ΔE localization requires the torA membrane association domain, as well as a putative substrate-interaction residue, Y147, neither of which are required for torA interaction with LAP1. We also find that mutation of these motifs, or depletion of SUN1, decreases the amount of torA-WT that colocalizes with NE markers, indicating that each also underlies a normal NE-localized torA binding interaction.


These data suggest that the disease causing ΔE mutation promotes an association between torA and SUN1 that is distinct to the interaction between LAP1 and ATP-bound torA. This evidence for two NE-localized binding partners suggests that torA may act on multiple substrates and/or possesses regulatory co-factor partners. In addition, finding that the DYT1 mutation causes abnormal association with SUN1 implicates LINC complex dysfunction in DYT1 dystonia pathogenesis, and suggests a gain-of-function activity contributes to this dominantly inherited disease.

torsinA; LINC complex; AAA+ protein; Nuclear Envelope; SUN1; DYT1 dystonia