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Nuclear Pore Membrane Proteins Self-Assemble into Nanopores

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posted on 03.01.2019, 00:00 by Radhakrishnan Panatala, Suncica Barbato, Toshiya Kozai, Jinghui Luo, Larisa E. Kapinos, Roderick Y. H. Lim
Large multiprotein nanopores remain difficult to reconstitute in vitro, such as, for instance, the nuclear pore complex (NPC) that regulates macromolecular transport between the nucleus and cytoplasm in cells. Here, we report that two NPC pore membrane proteins self-assemble into ∼20 nm diameter nanopores following in vitro reconstitution into lipid bilayers. Pore formation follows from the assembly of Pom121 and Ndc1 oligomers, which arrange into ringlike membrane structures that encircle aqueous, electrically conductive pores. This represents a key step toward reconstituting membrane-embedded NPC mimics for biological studies and biotechnological applications.

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