Whose Finger Is on the Switch?

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Science  20 Jun 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5320, pp. 1814-1816
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5320.1814

Proteins and nucleic acids are transported into and out of the cell nucleus through nuclear pores. In his Perspective, Goldfarb discusses two reports in this issue in which a central control switch in nuclear transport is identified as Ran, a small guanosine triphosphatase. Not only is this molecule a key component in turning the import and export processes on and off (Richards et al), but it is also a target for vesicular stomatitis virus, which turns off nuclear traffic while co-opting the protein synthetic machinery in the cytoplasm (Her et al.).

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