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Cell. 1992 May 15;69(4):605-13.

Translocation of a specific premessenger ribonucleoprotein particle through the nuclear pore studied with electron microscope tomography.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


A specific premessenger ribonucleoprotein (RNP) particle in the salivary glands of the dipteran Chironomus tentans was studied with electron microscope tomography during translocation from the cell nucleus to the cytoplasm. The RNP particle consists of a thin RNP fiber tightly folded into a ribbon, which is bent into a ring-like structure. Upon translocation through the pore, the particle is first orientated in a specific manner at the pore entrance, and subsequently the bent ribbon is gradually straightened and transported through the pore with the 5' end of the RNA in the lead. Concomitantly, the elementary RNP fiber constituting the ribbon is gradually unpacked and will appear more or less extended on the cytoplasmic side of the pore complex. The ordered nature of the process suggests a specific recognition of the RNP particle at the nuclear pore.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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