PerspectiveCell Biology

An Alternative Route for Nuclear mRNP Export by Membrane Budding

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Science  18 May 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6083, pp. 809-810
DOI: 10.1126/science.1222243

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In eukaryotes, the double membrane of the nuclear envelope protects and organizes the genetic information that is stored as DNA in the nucleus. To use this information, the DNA must be transcribed into mRNA, packaged with proteins into a messenger ribonucleoprotein (mRNP) complex, and transported to the cytoplasm, where the information contained within the mRNA is translated into the corresponding protein. Until now, nuclear export of mRNP particles was thought to occur solely through nuclear pore complexes (NPCs)—transport channels inserted into the nuclear envelope at fusion sites between the inner and outer nuclear membranes (1). However, new findings by Speese et al. (2) suggest an alternative and unexpected route for a cellular mRNP to exit the nucleus, by membrane budding.