The nuclear transport machinery in Caenorhabditis elegans: A central role in morphogenesis

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2009 Jul;20(5):576-81. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2009.03.013. Epub 2009 Mar 26.


Our full understanding of the various roles for the nuclear transport machinery has come from a variety of model organisms including yeast, nematodes, fruit flies and vertebrates. Using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, it has been shown that the karyopherin family of nuclear transporters and the components of the Ran cycle have roles not only in nuclear protein transport, but also in mitotic spindle formation and regulation, and in nuclear envelope assembly. These studies have also demonstrated a role for nuclear transport factors in cellular differentiation and development, particularly for the formation of germ cells. This review highlights the small number of studies in C. elegans that have been critical to our understanding of this important cellular process.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Active Transport, Cell Nucleus*
  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / cytology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / metabolism*
  • Karyopherins / metabolism
  • Morphogenesis*
  • Spindle Apparatus / metabolism
  • ran GTP-Binding Protein / metabolism


  • Karyopherins
  • ran GTP-Binding Protein