Conserved Spatial Organization of FG Domains in the Nuclear Pore Complex.

Laboratory of Cellular Biophysics, The Rockefeller University, New York, New York.
Biophysical Journal (Impact Factor: 3.83). 01/2013; 104(1):37-50. DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2012.11.3823
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Selective transport through the nuclear pore complex (NPC) requires nucleoporins containing natively unfolded phenylalanine-glycine (FG) domains. Several differing models for their dynamics within the pore have been proposed. We characterize the behavior of the FG nucleoporins in vivo using polarized fluorescence microscopy. Using nucleoporins tagged with green fluorescent protein along their FG domains, we show that some of these proteins are ordered, indicating an overall orientational organization within the NPC. This orientational ordering of the FG domains depends on their specific context within the NPC, but is independent of active transport and cargo load. For most nups, behavior does not depend on the FG motifs. These data support a model whereby local geometry constrains the orientational organization of the FG nups. Intriguingly, homologous yeast and mammalian proteins show conserved behavior, suggesting functional relevance. Our findings have implications for mechanistic models of NPC transport.


Available from: Sanford Simon, Dec 23, 2013
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The distribution of disordered proteins (FG-nups) that line the transport channel of the nuclear pore complex (NPC) is investigated by means of coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations. A one-bead-per-amino-acid model is presented that accounts for the hydrophobic/hydrophilic and electrostatic interactions between different amino acids, polarity of the solvent, and screening of free ions. The results indicate that the interaction of the FG-nups forms a high-density, doughnut-like distribution inside the NPC, which is rich in FG-repeats. We show that the obtained distribution is encoded in the amino-acid sequence of the FG-nups and is driven by both electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions. To explore the relation between structure and function, we have systematically removed different combinations of FG-nups from the pore to simulate inviable and viable NPCs that were previously studied experimentally. The obtained density distributions show that the maximum density of the FG-nups inside the pore does not exceed 185 mg/mL in the inviable NPCs, whereas for the wild-type and viable NPCs, this value increases to 300 mg/mL. Interestingly, this maximum density is not correlated to the total mass of the FG-nups, but depends sensitively on the specific combination of essential Nups located in the central plane of the NPC.
    Biophysical Journal 09/2014; 107(6):1393-1402. DOI:10.1016/j.bpj.2014.07.060 · 3.83 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Intrinsically disordered Phe-Gly nucleoporins (FG Nups) within nuclear pore complexes exert multivalent interactions with transport receptors (Karyopherins (Kaps)) that orchestrate nucleocytoplasmic transport. Current FG-centric views reason that selective Kap translocation is promoted by alterations in the barrier-like FG Nup conformations. However, the strong binding of Kaps with the FG Nups due to avidity contradicts rapid Kap translocation in vivo. Here, using surface plasmon resonance, we innovate a means to correlate in situ mechanistic (molecular occupancy and conformational changes) with equilibrium (binding affinity) and kinetic (multivalent binding kinetics) aspects of Karyopherinβ1 (Kapβ1) binding to four different FG Nups. A general feature of the FxFG domains of Nup214, Nup62, and Nup153 is their capacity to extend and accommodate large numbers of Kapβ1 molecules at physiological Kapβ1 concentrations. A notable exception is the GLFG domain of Nup98, which forms a partially penetrable cohesive layer. Interestingly, we find that a slowly exchanging Kapβ1 phase forms an integral constituent within the FG Nups that coexists with a fast phase, which dominates transport kinetics due to limited binding with the pre-occupied FG Nups at physiological Kapβ1 concentrations. Altogether, our data reveal an emergent Kap-centric barrier mechanism that may underlie mechanistic and kinetic control in the nuclear pore complex.
    Biophysical Journal 04/2014; 106(8):1751-62. DOI:10.1016/j.bpj.2014.02.021 · 3.83 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The partitioning of intracellular space beyond membrane-bound organelles can be achieved with collections of proteins that are multivalent or contain low-complexity, intrinsically disordered regions. These proteins can undergo a physical phase change to form functional granules or other entities within the cytoplasm or nucleoplasm that collectively we term "assemblage." Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) play an important role in forming a subset of cellular assemblages by promoting phase separation. Recent work points to an involvement of assemblages in disease states, indicating that intrinsic disorder and phase transitions should be considered in the development of therapeutics.
    The Journal of Cell Biology 09/2014; 206(5):579-588. DOI:10.1083/jcb.201404124 · 9.69 Impact Factor