Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) mediate all selective bidirectional transport between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. Additional functions for NPCs and their constituent proteins (nucleoporins) are emerging, some independent of classical transport. Specifically, enzymatic activities at the NPC regulate nucleocytoplasmic transport and use the NPC as a regulatory scaffold. Also, nucleoporins may regulate gene expression by contacting chromatin. Discriminating between effects on transport, scaffolding, and gene expression is a major challenge in understanding the role of the NPC in signaling and development.