Conformational states of the nuclear pore complex induced by depletion of nuclear Ca2+ stores

Carmen Perez-Terzic, Jason Pyle, Marisa Jaconi, Lisa Stehno-Bittel, David E. Clapham

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Abstract

The nuclear pore complex (NPC) is essential for the transit of molecules between the cytoplasm and nucleoplasm of a cell and until recently was thought to allow intermediate-sized molecules (relative molecular mass of ~10,000) to diffuse freely across the nuclear envelope. However, the depletion of calcium from the nuclear envelope of Xenopus laevis oocytes was shown to regulate the passage of intermediate-sized molecules. Two distinct conformational states of the NPC were observed by field emission scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. A central plug occluded the NPC channel after nuclear calcium stores had been depleted and free diffusion of intermediate-sized molecules had been blocked. Thus, the NPC conformation appears to gate molecular movement across the nuclear envelope.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1875-1877
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume273
Issue number5283
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 27 1996

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