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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2001 Jun;13(3):363-75.

Nuclear pores and nuclear assembly.

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  • 1Section of Cell and Developmental Biology, Division of Biology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0347, USA.


Communication between the nucleus and cytoplasm occurs through large macromolecular structures, the nuclear pores. Quantitative scanning transmission electron microscopy has estimated the mass of a nuclear pore to be 60 million Daltons in yeast and 120 million Daltons in vertebrates. The past two years were noteworthy in that they saw: 1) the purification of both the yeast and vertebrate nuclear pores, 2) the initial description of routes through the pore for specific transport receptors, 3) glimpses of intranuclear organization imposed by the nuclear pores and envelope and 4) the revelation of new and pivotal roles for the small GTPase Ran not only in nuclear import but in spindle assembly and nuclear membrane fusion.

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