Regulation of nuclear import and export by the GTPase Ran

Int Rev Cytol. 2002;217:41-91. doi: 10.1016/s0074-7696(02)17012-4.


This review focuses on the control of nuclear import and export pathways by the small GTPase Ran. Transport of signal-containing cargo substrates is mediated by receptors that bind to the cargo proteins and RNAs and deliver them to the appropriate cellular compartment. Ran is an evolutionarily conserved member of the Ras superfamily that regulates all receptor-mediated transport between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. We describe the identification and characterization of the RanGTPase and its binding partners: the guanine nucleotide exchange factor, RanGEF; the GTPase activating protein, RanGAP; the soluble import and export receptors; Ran-binding domain-(RBD) containing proteins; and NTF2 and related factors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Active Transport, Cell Nucleus*
  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Fungal Proteins / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Karyopherins / chemistry
  • Karyopherins / physiology
  • Models, Biological
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • ran GTP-Binding Protein / chemistry*
  • ran GTP-Binding Protein / physiology*


  • Fungal Proteins
  • Karyopherins
  • ran GTP-Binding Protein