Image of the Day: Nuclear Pore Complex

The structure has a stress-resilient architecture reminiscent of suspension bridges.

The Scientist Staff and The Scientist Staff
Mar 20, 2018

A map showing how the 552 pieces of the nuclear pore of Saccharomyces cerevisiae could inform research into how it functions.THE ROCKEFELLER UNIVERSITY

In a study in Nature last week (March 15), researchers report that they have created a 3-D model of the nuclear pore complex in Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cells. The architecture of the gateway, which spans the nuclear envelope and allows molecules to enter and leave a cell’s nucleus, shares engineering principles found in large-scale construction projects.

See “Nuclear Pores Come into Sharper Focus

“It reminds us of a suspension bridge, in which a combination of sturdy and flexible parts produce a stress-resilient structure,” says coauthor Michael Rout, a biochemist at the Rockefeller University, in a statement. Rout began mapping the complex more than 20 years ago with his colleague Brian Chait, a biochemist at Rockefeller.

The nuclear pore complex comprises 552 proteins, called...

S.J. Kim et al., “Integrative structure and functional anatomy of a nuclear pore complex,” Nature, doi:10.1038/nature26003, 2018.

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