Karyopherins and nuclear import

Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2001 Dec;11(6):703-15. doi: 10.1016/s0959-440x(01)00264-0.


Proteins of the karyopherin alpha and karyopherin beta families play a central role in nucleocytoplasmic transport. Recently, crystal structures of karyopherin alpha and its complexes with nuclear localization signal peptides, a karyopherin beta2-Ran complex and complexes of full-length and fragments of karyopherin beta1 with import substrates, Ran and nucleoporins have been solved. These karyopherin structures provide valuable insights into understanding the molecular mechanism of nuclear import, especially substrate recognition, substrate release by GTPase and interactions with the nuclear pore complex.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Active Transport, Cell Nucleus / physiology*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Karyopherins / chemistry
  • Karyopherins / physiology*
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Localization Signals
  • Nuclear Pore / physiology
  • Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • alpha Karyopherins / chemistry
  • alpha Karyopherins / physiology
  • beta Karyopherins / chemistry
  • beta Karyopherins / physiology


  • KPNB1 protein, human
  • Karyopherins
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Nuclear Localization Signals
  • Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins
  • alpha Karyopherins
  • beta Karyopherins