Nic96p has been isolated previously in a complex together with the nuclear pore proteins Nsp1p, Nup49p and a p54 polypeptide. In a genetic screen for Nsp1p-interacting components, we now find NIC96, as well as a novel gene NUP57 which encodes the p54 protein (called Nup57p). Nup57p which is essential for cell growth contains GLFG repeats in the N-terminal half and heptad repeats in the C-terminal half. The domain organization of Nic96p is more complex: N-terminally located heptad repeats mediate binding to a trimeric Nsp1p-Nup49p-Nup57p complex, but are not required for the formation of this core complex; single amino acid substitutions in the central domain yield thermosensitive mutants, which do not impair interaction with the Nsp1 complex; the C-terminal domain is neither essential nor required for binding to the nucleoporin complex, but strikingly mutations in this part cause synthetic lethality with nsp1 and nup57 mutant alleles. Since a strain in which the Nic96p heptad repeats were deleted shows, similar to nsp1 and nup49 mutants, cytoplasmic mislocalization of a nuclear reporter protein, we propose that the interaction of the heterotrimeric Nsp1p-Nup49p-Nup57p core complex with Nic96p is required for protein transport into the nucleus.