Structure, dynamics and function of nuclear pore complexes

Trends Cell Biol. 2008 Oct;18(10):456-66. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2008.07.009. Epub 2008 Sep 9.


Nuclear pore complexes are large aqueous channels that penetrate the nuclear envelope, thereby connecting the nuclear interior with the cytoplasm. Until recently, these macromolecular complexes were viewed as static structures, the only function of which was to control the molecular trafficking between the two compartments. It has now become evident that this simplistic scenario is inaccurate and that nuclear pore complexes are highly dynamic multiprotein assemblies involved in diverse cellular processes ranging from the organization of the cytoskeleton to gene expression. In this review, we discuss the most recent developments in the nuclear-pore-complex field, focusing on the assembly, disassembly, maintenance and function of this macromolecular structure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / physiology*
  • Chromatin / physiology
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mitosis / physiology
  • Nuclear Envelope / physiology
  • Nuclear Pore / chemistry
  • Nuclear Pore / physiology*
  • Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins / chemistry
  • Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins / physiology*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism


  • Chromatin
  • Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins