Mechanisms that control nuclear membrane remodeling are essential to maintain the integrity of the nucleus but remain to be fully defined. Here, we identify a phosphatidic acid (PA)–binding capacity in the nuclear envelope (NE)–specific ESCRT, Chm7, in budding yeast. Chm7’s interaction with PA-rich membranes is mediated through a conserved hydrophobic stretch of amino acids, which confers recruitment to the NE in a manner that is independent of but required for Chm7’s interaction with the LAP2-emerin-MAN1 (LEM) domain protein Heh1 (LEM2). Consistent with the functional importance of PA binding, mutation of this region abrogates recruitment of Chm7 to membranes and abolishes Chm7 function in the context of NE herniations that form during defective nuclear pore complex (NPC) biogenesis. In fact, we show that a PA sensor specifically accumulates within these NE herniations. We suggest that local control of PA metabolism is important for ensuring productive NE remodeling and that its dysregulation may contribute to pathologies associated with defective NPC assembly.

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