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Trends Cell Biol. 2001 Dec;11(12):497-503.

Nucleocytoplasmic transport: Ran, beta and beyond.

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Gene Expression Programme, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Meyerhofstrasse 1, D-69117, Heidelberg, Germany.


Proteins, RNAs and even large macromolecular complexes are transported into and out of nuclei with remarkable rapidity and specificity. Nucleocytoplasmic transport must therefore be efficient and selective. Characterization of the roles of the importin beta family of transport receptors and of the Ran GTPase has showed how these characteristics can be achieved, but there are many examples of nucleocytoplasmic transport that do not fit this model. Here, we discuss current understanding of various transport mechanisms and evaluate cases in which the molecules and mechanisms underlying nucleocytoplasmic transport are used to carry out important cellular functions in the absence of a nucleus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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