The search for the primary function of the Ran GTPase continues

Trends Cell Biol. 1996 Mar;6(3):81-5. doi: 10.1016/0962-8924(96)80992-5.


It has been nearly 20 years since the discovery of the first component of the Ran-GTPase pathway. Since then, nearly 100 articles, more than half of which have been published in the past three years, have reported the identification of additional components of the system and the existence of their structural and functional homologues in organisms ranging from yeast to man. The Ran system affects a vast array of nuclear processes including RNA metabolism, DNA replication, chromosome condensation and decondensation, and nucleocytoplasmic transport of protein and RNA. The current challenge is to identify the molecular targets that link the Ran-GTPase system to this collection o f nuclear processes.