Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biochem Cell Biol. 1999;77(4):321-9.

Function and assembly of nuclear pore complex proteins.

Author information

Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of Calgary, AB, Canada.


Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) are extremely elaborate structures that mediate the bidirectional movement of macromolecules between the nucleus and cytoplasm. The current view of NPC organization features a massive symmetrical framework that is embedded in the double membranes of the nuclear envelope. It embraces a central channel of as yet ill-defined structure but which may accommodate particles with diameters up to 26 nm provided that they bear specific import/export signals. Attached to both faces of the central framework are peripheral structures, short cytoplasmic filaments, and a nuclear basket assembly, which interact with molecules transiting the NPC. The mechanisms of assembly and the nature of NPC structural intermediates are still poorly understood. However, mutagenesis and expression studies have revealed discrete sequences within certain NPC proteins that are necessary and sufficient for their appropriate targeting. In addition, some details are emerging from observations on cells undergoing mitosis where the nuclear envelope is disassembled and its components, including NPC subunits, are dispersed throughout the mitotic cytoplasm. At the end of mitosis, all of these components are reutilized to form nuclear envelopes in the two daughter cells. To date, it has been possible to define a time course of postmitotic assembly for a group of NPC components (CAN/Nup214, Nup153, POM121, p62 and Tpr) relative to the integral inner nuclear membrane protein LAP2 and the NPC membrane glycoprotein gp210. Nup153, a dynamic component of the nuclear basket, associates with chromatin towards the end of anaphase coincident with, although independent of, the inner nuclear membrane protein, LAP2. Assembly of the remaining proteins follows that of the nuclear membranes and occurs in the sequence POM121, p62, CAN/Nup214 and gp210/Tpr. Since p62 remains as a complex with three other NPC proteins (p58, p54, p45) during mitosis, and CAN/Nup214 maintains a similar interaction with its partner, Nup84, the relative timing of assembly of these additional four proteins may also be inferred. These observations suggest that there is a sequential association of NPC proteins with chromosomes during nuclear envelope reformation and the recruitment of at least eight of these precedes that of gp210. These findings support a model in which it is POM121 rather than gp210 that defines initial membrane-associated NPC assembly intermediates and which may therefore represent an essential component of the central framework of the NPC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center