The Ran GTPase as a marker of chromosome position in spindle formation and nuclear envelope assembly

Nat Cell Biol. 2002 Jul;4(7):E177-84. doi: 10.1038/ncb0702-e177.


The small GTPase Ran is a key regulator of nucleocytoplasmic transport during interphase. The asymmetric distribution of the GTP-bound form of Ran across the nuclear envelope--that is, large quantities in the nucleus compared with small quantities in the cytoplasm--determines the directionality of many nuclear transport processes. Recent findings that Ran also functions in spindle formation and nuclear envelope assembly during mitosis suggest that Ran has a general role in chromatin-centred processes. Ran functions in these events as a signal for chromosome position.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Active Transport, Cell Nucleus / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Guanosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Nuclear Envelope / physiology*
  • Spindle Apparatus / physiology*
  • ran GTP-Binding Protein / physiology*


  • Guanosine Triphosphate
  • ran GTP-Binding Protein