Establishment of NE asymmetry—targeting of membrane proteins to the inner nuclear membrane

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2015 Jun:34:135-41. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2015 Jun 22.


The inner nuclear membrane (INM) represents a specialized subdomain of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). The INM houses a unique set of integral membrane proteins that perform key functions in the organization of intranuclear architecture, control of gene expression and coupling of the nucleus to the cytoskeleton. However, the molecular mechanism of membrane protein sorting from the ER to the INM has remained enigmatic. Recently, novel approaches combining visual kinetic assays and computational modeling were used to define the requirements of trafficking to the INM in human cells. These studies reveal that nuclear retention, diffusional mobility in the ER as well as the number and architecture of NPCs are major determinants of INM targeting, collectively lending support to a diffusion-retention-based mechanism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Nuclear Envelope / metabolism*
  • Protein Transport


  • Membrane Proteins