The nuclear pore complex and lamina: three-dimensional structures and interactions determined by field emission in-lens scanning electron microscopy

J Mol Biol. 1996 Apr 12;257(4):848-65. doi: 10.1006/jmbi.1996.0206.


Three dimensional surface imaging was used to examine structural details of the nuclear pore complex. Subsurface structures were uncovered by detergent extraction, proteolysis, mechanical fracturing and combinations of these. Features observed in this way were mostly consistent with previous three-dimensional structures with some novel observations. In addition to cytoplasmic and basket filaments attached to each coaxial ring, we have observed radiating filaments within the central channel. New details of basket organization are presented, showing that basket filaments branch and are woven together to form the basket ring. The "central transporter" is shown to be a regular, consistent structure revealed after removal of overlying internal filaments. The lumenal ring is visualised and we present evidence that the lamina may be attached to the spoke ring complex. Finally we show that there is evidence for a novel structure, the "star ring", sandwiched between the cytoplasmic ring and the membrane.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Polarity
  • Female
  • Histocytological Preparation Techniques
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning / methods
  • Models, Structural
  • Nuclear Envelope / drug effects
  • Nuclear Envelope / ultrastructure*
  • Nuclear Matrix / ultrastructure
  • Octoxynol / pharmacology
  • Oocytes
  • Trypsin / pharmacology
  • Xenopus laevis


  • Octoxynol
  • Trypsin