Nuclear pore complexes: guardians of the nuclear genome

Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 2010;75:585-97. doi: 10.1101/sqb.2010.75.059. Epub 2011 Apr 18.


Eukaryotic cell function depends on the physical separation of nucleoplasmic and cytoplasmic components by the nuclear envelope (NE). Molecular communication between the two compartments involves active, signal-mediated trafficking, a function that is exclusively performed by nuclear pore complexes (NPCs). The individual NPC components and the mechanisms that are involved in nuclear trafficking are well documented and have become textbook knowledge. However, in addition to their roles as nuclear gatekeepers, NPC components-nucleoporins-have been shown to have critical roles in chromatin organization and gene regulation. These findings have sparked new enthusiasm to study the roles of this multiprotein complex in nuclear organization and explore novel functions that in some cases appear to go beyond a role in transport. Here, we discuss our present view of NPC biogenesis, which is tightly linked to proper cell cycle progression and cell differentiation. In addition, we summarize new data suggesting that NPCs represent dynamic hubs for the integration of gene regulation and nuclear transport processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genome / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Mitosis / genetics
  • Models, Biological
  • Nuclear Pore / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / cytology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism