Molecule of the Month: Nuclear Pore Complex
The nuclear pore complex is the gateway between the nucleus and cytoplasm.
Studying the NPC
Exploring the Structure
Coat Nucleoporin Complex
The coat nucleoporin complex is part of the symmetric core of the NPC. In yeast, coat nucleoporins assemble to form a Y-shaped complex, as seen here at the top from PDB entry 4xmm. Many coat nucleoporin complexes then associate to form four eight-membered rings, as seen in the human complex shown at the bottom. The arms of the Y-shaped complexes grip their neighbors to lock the entire ring together. To explore the yeast complex in more detail, click on the image for an interactive JSmol.
Topics for Further Discussion
- You can use the Protein Feature View to explore portions of the nucleoporin proteins that aren’t included in the structures. For instance, take a look at the view of Nup214 and notice that it has long unstructured regions with many FG repeats.
- Structures for many individual nucleoporins are included in the PDB archive—try searching for “nucleoporin” to find them.
January 2017, David Goodsell, Christopher Markosiandoi:10.2210/rcsb_pdb/mom_2017_1