Evolution of Nuclear Pore Elements

Science Daily mentions an interesting paper on Core Nuclear Pore Elements Likely Shared By All Eukaryotes:

The findings, by Rockefeller University researchers Brian T. Chait, Michael P. Rout and colleagues, add details to an unfolding picture of cellular evolution that shows a common architecture for the nuclear pore complex and the vehicles that evolved around the same time to transport cargoes between different parts of the cell, called coated vesicles. As early as 1980, Rockefeller professor Günter Blobel proposed that the internal membranes of cells — such as those encompassing the nucleus and vesicles — evolved from invaginations of the outer cell membrane. Rout and Chait suggested in 2004 that the nuclear pore complex and vesicle coats, which both contain α-solenoid and β-propeller protein folds, evolved from ancient molecules called protocoatomers that stabilized the membranes of these primordial internal structures.

“This work shows that the pore contains the signature of this ancient evolutionary event,” says Rout, head of the Laboratory of Cellular and Structural Biology. “Some evolutionary biologists have argued that the resemblance is only superficial. This paper shows that that is not true. The resemblance is not skin deep. Indeed, it goes all the way to the core.”

The research is being published in Molecular & Cellular Proteomics and can be found, via PubMed, here.

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