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Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 439, Issue 6, pp 671–681 | Cite as

Nuclear pore function viewed with atomic force microscopy

  • T. Danker
  • H. Oberleithner
Invited Review

Abstract

In this review we focus on studies using atomic force microscopy (AFM) to describe the function of nuclear pore complexes (NPC). After a short introduction of AFM we follow the route of cargo molecules from the cytosol into the nucleus. AFM visualizes cargo before translocation into the nucleoplasm, cargo docking at the cytoplasmic NPC surface, cargo passing through the NPC and changes in NPC conformation in response to ATP, Calcium and pH. We discuss AFM experiments on nuclear envelopes on the basis of previous data obtained with more conventional techniques such as electron microscopy, confocal microscopy and other imaging techniques. Finally we draw attention to the recently developed nuclear hourglass technique that serves as a new electrophysiological approach to studying the structure–function relationship of NPC in combination with AFM at a molecular level.

ATP Intracellular Calcium Intracellular pH Nuclear envelope Nuclear pore complexes 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Danker
    • 1
  • H. Oberleithner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology, University of Münster, Robert-Koch-Str. 27a, D-48149 MünsterGermany

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