Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Research Supports Model For Nuclear Pore Complex

Date:
September 3, 2009
Source:
Rockefeller University
Summary:
To protect their DNA, cells in higher organisms are very choosy about what they allow in and out of their nuclei, where the genes reside. Guarding access is the job of transport machines called nuclear pore complexes, which stud the nuclear membrane. Despite these gatekeepers' conspicuously large size (they are made of 30 different proteins), they have proved largely inscrutable to researchers over the years. But bit by bit, scientists are learning how these machines work.

Paring the pore. A new model of how the nuclear pore complex might work suggests that an interaction between two proteins -- key elements of the yellow ring pictured above -- link together, forming a flexible fence around the pore's opening.
Credit: Joseph Alexander, Erik Debler and Andre Hoelz

To protect their DNA, cells in higher organisms are very choosy about what they allow in and out of their nuclei, where the genes reside. Guarding access is the job of transport machines called nuclear pore complexes, which stud the nuclear membrane. Despite these gatekeepers’ conspicuously large size (they are made of 30 different proteins), they have proved largely inscrutable to researchers over the years. But bit by bit, scientists are learning how these machines work.

Now a new study reveals the structure of one of the proteins that makes up this molecule-trafficking complex. Researchers have also shown how that protein interacts with a partner, supporting a model that calls for a flexible “ring” around the opening of each pore. The work could offer a key insight into an important design feature of this little-understood and evolutionarily ancient structure, an innovation fundamental to the development of nearly all multicellular life on Earth.

The research, performed by Hyuk-Soo Seo, a postdoctoral associate, and Andrι Hoelz, a research associate, both in Rockefeller University’s Laboratory of Cell Biology, determined the molecular structure of the only remaining unsolved protein in an important piece of the nuclear pore called the Nup84 complex. Nup84 is a Y-shaped element that was recently imaged in three dimensions by Martin Kampmann, also a member of the lab headed by Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator Gόnter Blobel.

In experiments recently published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Seo, Hoelz and colleagues focused on the behavior of this newly solved protein — or nucleoporin — called Nup120, one of seven comprising the Nup84 complex. They determined that one end of Nup120, the N-terminal domain, is attached by a stretchable tether to one other protein in the complex, Nup133. Furthermore, the researchers showed in living cells that mutations to a critical region of the tether interfered with the export of messenger RNA, one of the nuclear pore’s chief responsibilities, confirming the functional importance of this loose linkage between the two proteins.

“It’s a very nice correlation from the structure to the function,” Hoelz says. “It’s the first example where we can really pin down how the [Nup84] complexes arrange with each other, and what we believe we see is a flexible ring that could expand and contract to import and export large molecules.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rockefeller University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Seo et al. Structural and functional analysis of Nup120 suggests ring formation of the Nup84 complex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2009; 106 (34): 14281 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0907453106

Cite This Page:

Rockefeller University. "New Research Supports Model For Nuclear Pore Complex." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090829092830.htm>.
Rockefeller University. (2009, September 3). New Research Supports Model For Nuclear Pore Complex. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090829092830.htm
Rockefeller University. "New Research Supports Model For Nuclear Pore Complex." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090829092830.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

AP (July 29, 2014) — Food scraps and other items left on the grounds by picnickers brings unwelcome visitors to the grounds of the world famous and popular Louvre Museum in Paris. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jane Goodall Warns Great Apes Face Extinction

Jane Goodall Warns Great Apes Face Extinction

AFP (July 29, 2014) — The world's great apes face extinction within decades, renowned chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall warned Tuesday in a call to arms to ensure man's closest relatives are not wiped out. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) — Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rat Infestation at Paris' Tuileries Garden

Rat Infestation at Paris' Tuileries Garden

AFP (July 29, 2014) — An infestation of rats is causing concern among tourists at Paris' most famous park -- the Tuileries garden next to the Louvre Museum. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins