5 years ago

Biomechanics of the transport barrier in the nuclear pore complex

Biomechanics of the transport barrier in the nuclear pore complex
The nuclear pore complex (NPC) is the selective gateway through which all molecules must pass when entering or exiting the nucleus. It is a cog in the gene expression pathway, an entrance to the nucleus exploited by viruses, and a highly-tuned nanoscale filter. The NPC is a large proteinaceous assembly with a central lumen occluded by natively disordered proteins, known as FG-nucleoporins (or FG-nups). These FG-nups, along with a family of soluble proteins known as nuclear transport receptors (NTRs), form the selective transport barrier. Although much is known about the transport cycle and the necessity of NTRs for chaperoning cargo molecules through the NPC, the mechanism by which NTRs and NTR•cargo complexes translocate the selective transport barrier is not well understood. How can disordered FG-nups and soluble NTRs form a transport barrier that is selective, ATP-free, and fast? In this work, we review various mechanical approaches – both experimental and theoretical/computational – employed to better understand the morphology of the FG-nups, and their role in nucleocytoplasmic transport. Recent experiments on FG-nups tethered to planar surfaces, coupled with quantitative modelling work suggests that FG-nup morphologies are the result of a finely balanced system with significant contributions from FG-nup cohesiveness and entropic repulsion, and from NTR•FG-nup binding avidity; whilst AFM experiments on intact NPCs suggest that the FG-nups are sufficiently cohesive to form condensates in the centre of the NPC lumen, which may transiently dissolve to facilitate the transport of larger cargoes.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1084952116303329

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.