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Molecular architecture of the luminal ring of the Xenopus laevis nuclear pore complex

By Yanqing Zhang, Sai Li, Chao Zeng, Gaoxingyu Huang, Xuechen Zhu, Qifan Wang, Kunpeng Wang, Qiang Zhou, Wusheng Zhang, Guangwen Yang, Minhao Liu, Qinghua Tao, Jianlin Lei, Yigong Shi

Posted 29 Mar 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.03.27.009381 (published DOI: 10.1038/s41422-020-0320-y)

Nuclear pore complex (NPC) mediates the flow of substances between the nucleus and cytoplasm in eukaryotic cells. Here we report the cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) structure of the luminal ring (LR) of the NPC from Xenopus laevis oocyte. The observed key structural features of the LR are independently confirmed by single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) analysis. The LR comprises eight butterfly-shaped subunits, each containing two symmetric wings. Each wing consists of four elongated, tubular protomers. Within the LR subunit, the eight protomers form a Finger domain, which directly contacts the fusion between the inner and outer nuclear membranes, and a Grid domain, which serves as a rigid base for the Finger domain. Two neighbouring LR subunits interact with each other through the lateral edges of their wings to constitute a Bumper domain, which displays two major conformations and appears to cushion neighbouring NPCs. Our study reveals previously unknown features of the LR and potentially explains the elastic property of the NPC.

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