Three-dimensional architecture of the isolated yeast nuclear pore complex: functional and evolutionary implications

Mol Cell. 1998 Jan;1(2):223-34. doi: 10.1016/s1097-2765(00)80023-4.


We have calculated a three-dimensional map of the yeast nuclear pore complex (yNPC) from frozen-hydrated specimens, thereby providing a direct comparison with the vertebrate NPC. Overall, the smaller yNPC is comprised of an octagonal inner spoke ring that is anchored within the nuclear envelope by a novel membrane-interacting ring. In addition, a cylindrical transporter is located centrally within the spokes and exhibits a variable radial expansion in projection that may reflect gating. The inner spoke ring, a transmembrane spoke domain, and the transporter are conserved between yeast and vertebrates; hence, they are required to form a functional NPC. However, significant alterations in NPC architecture have arisen during evolution that may be correlated with differences in nuclear transport regulation or mitotic behavior.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Freezing
  • Fungal Proteins / chemistry
  • Fungal Proteins / ultrastructure
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning Transmission
  • Molecular Weight
  • Nuclear Envelope / chemistry*
  • Nuclear Envelope / ultrastructure*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Saccharomyces / chemistry*
  • Saccharomyces / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces / ultrastructure*
  • Species Specificity
  • Vertebrates


  • Fungal Proteins