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Published July 2016 | Accepted Version
Journal Article Open

Toward the atomic structure of the nuclear pore complex: when top down meets bottom up


Elucidating the structure of the nuclear pore complex (NPC) is a prerequisite for understanding the molecular mechanism of nucleocytoplasmic transport. However, owing to its sheer size and flexibility, the NPC is unapproachable by classical structure determination techniques and requires a joint effort of complementary methods. Whereas bottom-up approaches rely on biochemical interaction studies and crystal-structure determination of NPC components, top-down approaches attempt to determine the structure of the intact NPC in situ. Recently, both approaches have converged, thereby bridging the resolution gap from the higher-order scaffold structure to near-atomic resolution and opening the door for structure-guided experimental interrogations of NPC function.

Additional Information

© 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Received 24 November 2015; Accepted 13 May 2016; Published online 06 June 2016. We thank A. Patke for critical reading of the manuscript and A. von Appen and J. Kosinski for help with preparing the figures. A.H. was supported as an inaugural Heritage Principal Investigator of the Heritage Research Institute for the Advancement of Medicine and Science at Caltech and was supported by Caltech startup funds, an Albert Wyrick V Scholar Award from the V Foundation for Cancer Research, the 54th Mallinckrodt Scholar Award from the Edward Mallinckrodt Jr. Foundation, a Kimmel Scholar Award from the Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research, a Camille-Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award from The Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation, and National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants R01-GM111461 and R01-GM117360. J.S.G. was supported by National Institute on Aging (NIA) grant R21-AG047433. M.B. acknowledges funding from the EMBL and the European Research Council (309271-NPCAtlas). The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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