Exit Strategy

Large RNA-protein packets use a novel mechanism to escape the cell nucleus.

Hayley Dunning
Nov 1, 2012

 

 

EDITOR'S CHOICE IN MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

BYPASSING THE PORE: Once thought to be the only method of exit for RNA, nuclear pores (pictured here) are no longer the only way out.© DON W. FAWCETT/SCIENCE SOURCE

The paper
S.D. Speese et al., “Nuclear envelope budding enables large ribonucleoprotein particle export during synaptic Wnt signaling,” Cell, 149:832-46, 2012.

The finding
While studying synapse development, Vivian Budnik, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and colleagues noticed large granules of RNA and protein in the nuclei of post-synaptic muscle cells. These particles were larger than the nuclear pore—the only known exit portal for RNA. With the help of RNA expert Melissa Moore, also at U Mass, the researchers determined that the granules exited by budding through the inner and outer nuclear membranes.
 
The pathway
Budnik had been tracking the contribution of a Wnt signaling protein called Wingless (Wg) to...