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In situ architecture of the algal nuclear pore complex

By Shyamal Mosalaganti, Jan Kosinski, Sahradha Albert, Miroslava Schaffer, J├╝rgen M. Plitzko, Wolfgang Baumeister, Benjamin D. Engel, Martin Beck

Posted 10 Dec 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/232017 (published DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04739-y)

Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) span the nuclear envelope and mediate nucleocytoplasmic exchange. They are a hallmark of eukaryotes and are deeply rooted in the evolutionary origin of cellular compartmentalization. NPCs have an elaborate architecture that has been well studied in vertebrates. Whether this architecture is unique or varies significantly in other eukaryotic kingdoms remains unknown, predominantly due to missing in situ structural data. Here, we report the architecture of the algal NPC from the early branching eukaryote Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and compare it to the human NPC. We find that the inner ring of the Chlamydomonas NPC has an unexpectedly large diameter, and the outer rings exhibit an asymmetric oligomeric state that is unprecedented compared to all previously proposed models of NPC architecture. Our study provides evidence that the NPC is subject to substantial structural variation between species. The divergent and conserved features of NPC architecture provide insights into the evolution of the nucleocytoplasmic transport machinery.

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