Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) assemble at the end of mitosis during nuclear envelope (NE) reformation and into an intact NE as cells progress through interphase. Although recent studies have shown that NPC formation occurs by two different molecular mechanisms at two distinct cell cycle stages, little is known about the molecular players that mediate the fusion of the outer and inner nuclear membranes to form pores. In this paper, we provide evidence that the transmembrane nucleoporin (Nup), POM121, but not the Nup107–160 complex, is present at new pore assembly sites at a time that coincides with inner nuclear membrane (INM) and outer nuclear membrane (ONM) fusion. Overexpression of POM121 resulted in juxtaposition of the INM and ONM. Additionally, Sun1, an INM protein that is known to interact with the cytoskeleton, was specifically required for interphase assembly and localized with POM121 at forming pores. We propose a model in which POM121 and Sun1 interact transiently to promote early steps of interphase NPC assembly.
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