Matefin/SUN-1 is a nuclear envelope receptor for CED-4 during Caenorhabditis elegans apoptosis

Yonatan B. Tzur, Ayelet Margalit, Naomi Melamed-Book, Yosef Gruenbaum*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


In Caenorhabditis elegans, the antiapoptotic protein CED-9 is localized at the mitochondria, where it binds the proapoptotic protein CED-4. Induction of apoptosis begins when the proapoptotic protein EGL-1 is expressed and binds CED-9. The binding of EGL-1 to CED-9 releases CED-4 from CED-9 and causes the activation of the caspase CED-3. Upon its release from CED-9, CED-4 rapidly translocates to the nuclear envelope (NE) in a CED-3-independent manner. However, the identity of the NE receptor for CED-4 and its possible role in the execution of apoptosis has remained unknown. Here, we show that the inner nuclear membrane SUN-domain protein matefin/SUN-1 is the NE receptor for CED-4. Our data demonstrate that matefin/SUN-1 binds CED-4 and is specifically required for CED-4 translocation and maintenance at the NE. The role of matefin/SUN-1 in the execution of apoptosis is further suggested by the significant reduction in the number of apoptotic cells in the organism after matefin SUN-1 down-regulation by RNAi. The finding that matefin/SUN-1 is required for the execution of apoptosis adds an important link between cytoplasmic and nuclear apoptotic events.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)13397-13402
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number36
StatePublished - 5 Sep 2006


  • Inner nuclear membrane
  • Nuclear lamina
  • Programmed cell death
  • SUN-domain 1 lamin


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