Perspective on the metazoan nuclear pore complex

Tal Maimon, Ohad Medalia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Fusing the inner and outer membranes of the nucleus, the nuclear pore complex (NPC) forms a selective portal which serves as the sole gateway of the nucleus. These aqueous translocation channels allow free diffusion of small molecules and ions, as well as receptor-mediated transport of large macromolecules. Over the last several years major progress has been made in both structural determination of individual nucleopurins (Nups) and their complexes by X-ray crystallography and in structural analysis of the entire assembly by means of cryo-electron tomography. By combining cryo-electron tomography with advanced image processing techniques, the metazoan NPC structure from Xenopus oocytes was resolved to medium resolution, revealing novel details. Here, we discuss new features of the Xenopus NPC and consider future perspectives that will eventually allow resolution of the structure and function of NPCs with high accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12332
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • Cryo-electron tomography
  • Nuclear envelope
  • Nuclear pore complex
  • Xenopus oocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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