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Cell Cycle. 2005 Feb;4(2):297-9. Epub 2005 Feb 6.

Glimpsing over the event horizon: evolution of nuclear pores and envelope.

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The origin of eukaryotes from prokaryotic ancestors is one of the major evolutionary transitions in the history of life. The nucleus, a membrane bound compartment for confining the genome, is a central feature of eukaryotic cells and its origin also has to be a central feature of any workable theory that ventures to explain eukaryotic origins. Recent bioinformatic analyses of components of the nuclear pore complex (NPC), the nuclear envelope (NE), and the nuclear transport systems revealed exciting evolutionary connections (e.g., between NPC and coated vesicles) and provided a useful record of the phyletic distribution and history of NPC and NE components. These analyses allow us to refine theories on the origin and evolution of the nucleus, and consequently, of the eukaryotic cell.

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