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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2006 Jun;18(3):342-7. Epub 2006 May 2.

The nuclear pore complex up close.

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M.E. Müller Institute for Structural Biology, Biozentrum, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 70, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.


Transport between the nucleus and cytoplasm is mediated by nuclear pore complexes (NPCs), perforations in the double-membrane of the nuclear envelope. NPCs are huge protein assemblies made up of distinct subcomplexes. The complex modular nature of the NPC and limitations in the current experimental approaches render the analysis of NPCs and nucleocytoplasmic transport at the molecular level difficult. Recent efforts in the NPC/nucleocytoplasmic transport field have focused on elucidating the core components that make up NPC structure (or the lack thereof) and function. These include results obtained by more conventional methods, such as electron microscopy or biochemical strategies, as well as more advanced applications, such as X-ray crystallography and atomic force microscopy.

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