Nuclear pore biogenesis into an intact nuclear envelope

Chromosoma. 2010 Oct;119(5):469-77. doi: 10.1007/s00412-010-0289-2. Epub 2010 Aug 19.


Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) serve as transport channels across the nuclear membrane, a double lipid bilayer that physically separates the nucleoplasm and cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells. New evidence suggests that the multiprotein nuclear pores also play a role in chromatin organization and gene expression. Given the importance of NPC function, it is not surprising that a growing list of human diseases and developmental defects have been linked to its malfunction. In order to fully understand the functional repertoire of NPCs and their essential role for nuclear organization, it is critical to determine the sequence of events that lead to the formation of nuclear pores. This is particularly relevant since NPC number, and possibly composition, are tightly linked to metabolic activity. Most of our knowledge is derived from NPC formation that occurs in dividing cells at the end of mitosis when the nuclear envelope (NE) and NPCs reform from disassembled precursors. However, NPC assembly also takes place during interphase into an intact NE. Importantly, this process is not restricted to dividing cells but also occurs during cell differentiation. Here, we will review aspects unique to this process, namely the regulation of nuclear expansion and the mechanisms of fusion between the outer and inner nuclear membranes. We will then discuss conserved and diverging mechanisms between post-mitotic and interphase assembly of the proteinaceous structure in light of recently published data.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Active Transport, Cell Nucleus
  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Chromatin / genetics
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Eukaryotic Cells / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Interphase
  • Membrane Fusion
  • Mitosis
  • Nuclear Envelope / metabolism*
  • Nuclear Envelope / ultrastructure
  • Nuclear Pore / genetics
  • Nuclear Pore / metabolism*
  • Nuclear Pore / ultrastructure
  • Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins / metabolism*


  • Chromatin
  • Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins