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New shortcut through nuclear pore complex discovered

New shortcut through nuclear pore complex discovered

July, 2011

NPC project leader Liesbeth Veenhoff and her colleagues (University of Groningen and of the University Medical Center Groningen) have exposed a new shortcut by which membrane proteins are guided to the inner nuclear membrane. Unlike in the method known hitherto, the protein’s ‘address code’ is found to be attached to a long string that wriggles, as it were, through the membrane pore. This discovery was published online in the journal Science on 9 June.

The Groningen researchers studied how particular membrane proteins find their way to the right place in a cell. The cell nucleus and the nuclear pore complexes are present in all plant, animal and human cells, and their function is vital to life: if they malfunction, the cell dies. Fundamental research of this kind is an investment in the future and in this particular case will probably have applications in medicine.

Publication: 

Long Unfolded Linkers Facilitate Membrane Protein Import Through the Nuclear Pore Complex

Anne C. Meinema, Justyna K. Laba, Rizqiya A. Hapsari, Renne Otten, Frans A.A. Mulder, Annemarie Kralt, Geert van den Bogaart, C. Patrick Lusk, Bert Poolman, Liesbeth M. Veenhoff

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