Investigating LINC Complex Protein Homo-oligomerization in the Nuclear Envelopes of Living Cells Using Fluorescence Fluctuation Spectroscopy

Jared Hennen, Isaac Angert, Kwang Ho Hur, G. W. Gant Luxton, Joachim D. Mueller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


Linkers of nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton (LINC) complexes are conserved nuclear envelope (NE) spanning molecular bridges which mechanically integrate the nucleus with the cytoskeleton and mediate force transmission into the nucleoplasm. Despite their critical roles in fundamental cellular processes such as meiotic chromosome and nuclear positioning, the mechanism of LINC complex assembly in cells remains unclear. To begin to address this deficit, we recently developed z-scan fluorescence fluctuation spectroscopy (FFS) and brightness analysis as a method for quantifying the oligomeric states of fluorescent protein-tagged NE proteins including nesprins and SUN proteins. Since the homo-oligomerization of SUN2 is critical for its ability to interact with nesprins within the perinuclear space, the knowledge obtained through quantitative brightness experiments reveals important insights into the in vivo mechanisms of LINC complex assembly. Here we describe the procedure we use to determine the brightness of proteins in the NE of living cells. In addition to the measurement procedure, we discuss the instrumentation requirements and present the results of applying this procedure to measure the brightness of nesprin-2 and SUN2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was financially supported in part by the NIH (J.D.M. (GM064589), and C.A.S. (AR007612)), and the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (G.W.G.L. and J.D.M.).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Brightness
  • FFS
  • KASH
  • LINC complex
  • Nesprin
  • Nuclear envelope
  • Perinuclear space
  • SUN protein


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