In this issue, Thaller et al. (2021. J. Cell Biol.https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.202004222) explore how the ESCRT protein Chm7 is recruited to sites of defective nuclear pore assembly. They show that a lipid, phosphatidic acid, is enriched at pathological nuclear envelope herniations, where it promotes Chm7 recruitment for membrane surveillance and repair.

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