Ran GTPase: a master regulator of nuclear structure and function during the eukaryotic cell division cycle?

Trends Cell Biol. 2001 Sep;11(9):366-71. doi: 10.1016/s0962-8924(01)02071-2.


Ran is an abundant GTPase that is highly conserved in eukaryotic cells and has been implicated in many aspects of nuclear structure and function, especially determining the directionality of nucleocytoplasmic transport during interphase. However, cell-free systems have recently shown that Ran plays distinct roles in mitotic spindle assembly and nuclear envelope (NE) formation in vitro. During spindle assembly, Ran controls the formation of complexes with importins, the same effectors that control nucleocytoplasmic transport. Here, we review these advances and discuss a general model for Ran in the coordination of nuclear processes throughout the cell division cycle via common biochemical mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Active Transport, Cell Nucleus / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Karyopherins
  • Models, Biological
  • Nuclear Envelope / metabolism
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Spindle Apparatus / metabolism
  • ran GTP-Binding Protein / metabolism*


  • Karyopherins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • ran GTP-Binding Protein