Importins and exportins: how to get in and out of the nucleus

Trends Biochem Sci. 1998 May;23(5):185-9. doi: 10.1016/s0968-0004(98)01204-3.


Every minute, several million protein and RNA molecules must be transported between the cytoplasm and the nucleus of a eukaryotic cell. The characterization of mediators, receptors and accessory factors for different nuclear import and export pathways has provided a glimpse at the molecular machinery that is responsible for these trafficking events. It appears that both inbound and outbound traffic is mediated by a protein family of related transport factors that can be classified as importins and exportins.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Biological Transport / physiology
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleoproteins / metabolism*
  • Proteins / metabolism*


  • Nucleoproteins
  • Proteins