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Nat Cell Biol. 2002 Jul;4(7):E177-84.

The Ran GTPase as a marker of chromosome position in spindle formation and nuclear envelope assembly.

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European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Meyerhofstrasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany.


The small GTPase Ran is a key regulator of nucleocytoplasmic transport during interphase. The asymmetric distribution of the GTP-bound form of Ran across the nuclear envelope--that is, large quantities in the nucleus compared with small quantities in the cytoplasm--determines the directionality of many nuclear transport processes. Recent findings that Ran also functions in spindle formation and nuclear envelope assembly during mitosis suggest that Ran has a general role in chromatin-centred processes. Ran functions in these events as a signal for chromosome position.

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