Karyopherins and kissing cousins

Trends Cell Biol. 1998 May;8(5):184-8. doi: 10.1016/s0962-8924(98)01248-3.


In eukaryotic cells, a regulated flux of molecules between the cytoplasm and the nucleus maintains two very different environments while allowing the controlled exchange of macromolecules necessary for their individual functions. Molecules entering or leaving the nucleus use nuclear localization signals or nuclear export signals to pass through selective channels in the nuclear envelope formed by nuclear pore complexes. The recognition of signal-bearing cargo, its interaction with the nuclear pore complex and its translocation through the pore complex are mediated by soluble transport factors. Recently, the list of potential transport factors has grown rapidly, suggesting a previously unanticipated level of complexity for nuclear transport.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Humans
  • Karyopherins
  • Nuclear Proteins / physiology*
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / physiology*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae


  • Karyopherins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear