Nuclear Pore Scaffold Structure Analyzed by Super-Resolution Microscopy and Particle Averaging

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Science  09 Aug 2013:
Vol. 341, Issue 6146, pp. 655-658
DOI: 10.1126/science.1240672

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Poring Over the Nuclear Pore

The nuclear pore is a macromolecular complex that traverses the paired membranes of the nuclear envelope through which a variety of nuclear protein and RNA cargoes must traffic. Szymborska et al. (p. 655, published online 11 July) combined super-resolution microscopy with single-particle averaging to localize the proteins that make up the structural scaffold of the nuclear pore complex with a precision well below one nanometer. These molecular positional constraints clarified contradictory models for the structure of the nuclear pore and demonstrate that the structural organization of protein complexes can be studied by light microscopy in situ in whole cells.