Cell Nucleus

Packaging DNA for a better nucleus

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Science  18 Jul 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6194, pp. 281
DOI: 10.1126/science.345.6194.281-b

Nuclear pores oversee the movement of proteins, DNA, and RNA across the nuclear membrane between the nucleus and cytoplasm—an essential duty for proper cell function and survival. Two studies now report that for these pores to form, the cell requires nucleosomes, short lengths of DNA wrapped around a protein core that package chromosomes into the nucleus. Inoue and Zhang and Zierhut et al. use either mouse zygotes or frog (Xenopus) egg extracts to show that nucleosomes bind to and recruit the nuclear pore protein ELYS (embryonic large molecule derived from yolk sac) to DNA, driving the initial steps of nuclear pore assembly. In this way, cells might ensure that a functional nucleus only forms around properly packaged chromosomes.

Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 10.1038/nsmb.2839; 10.1038/nsmb.2845 (2014).

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