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Abstract

A diverse family of proteins has been discovered with a small C-terminal KASH domain in common. KASH domain proteins are localized uniquely to the outer nuclear envelope, enabling their cytoplasmic extensions to tether the nucleus to actin filaments or microtubules. KASH domains are targeted to the outer nuclear envelope by SUN domains of inner nuclear envelope proteins. Several KASH protein genes were discovered as mutant alleles in model organisms with defects in developmentally regulated nuclear positioning. Recently, KASH-less isoforms have been found that connect the cytoskeleton to organelles other than the nucleus. A widened view of these proteins is now emerging, where KASH proteins and their KASH-less counterparts are cargo-specific adaptors that not only link organelles to the cytoskeleton but also regulate developmentally specific organelle movements. BioEssays 27:1136–1146, 2005. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.