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J Cell Biol. 2004 Nov 22;167(4):591-7.

Structural and functional analysis of Nup133 domains reveals modular building blocks of the nuclear pore complex.

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  • 1Laboratory of Cell Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Nucleocytoplasmic transport occurs through nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) whose complex architecture is generated from a set of only approximately 30 proteins, termed nucleoporins. Here, we explore the domain structure of Nup133, a nucleoporin in a conserved NPC subcomplex that is crucial for NPC biogenesis and is believed to form part of the NPC scaffold. We show that human Nup133 contains two domains: a COOH-terminal domain responsible for its interaction with its subcomplex through Nup107; and an NH2-terminal domain whose crystal structure reveals a seven-bladed beta-propeller. The surface properties and conservation of the Nup133 beta-propeller suggest it may mediate multiple interactions with other proteins. Other beta-propellers are predicted in a third of all nucleoporins. These and several other repeat-based motifs appear to be major elements of nucleoporins, indicating a level of structural repetition that may conceptually simplify the assembly and disassembly of this huge protein complex.

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