© 2015 Stewart et al.
The linker of nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton (LINC) complex allows cells to actively control nuclear position by coupling the nucleus to the cytoplasmic cytoskeleton. Nuclear position responds to the formation of intercellular adhesions through coordination with the cytoskeleton, but it is not known whether this response impacts adhesion function. In this paper, we demonstrate that the LINC complex component SUN2 contributes to the mechanical integrity of intercellular adhesions between mammalian epidermal keratinocytes. Mice deficient for Sun2 exhibited irregular hair follicle intercellular adhesions, defective follicle structure, and alopecia. Primary mouse keratinocytes lacking Sun2 displayed aberrant nuclear position in response to adhesion formation, altered desmosome distribution, and mechanically defective adhesions. This dysfunction appeared rooted in a failure of Sun2-null cells to reorganize their microtubule network to support coordinated intercellular adhesion. Together, these results suggest that cross talk between the nucleus, cytoskeleton, and intercellular adhesions is important for epidermal tissue integrity.