Nuclear Pore Complex Structure and Plasticity Revealed by Electron and Atomic Force Microscopy

  • Bohumil Maco
  • Birthe Fahrenkrog
  • Ning-Ping Huang
  • Ueli Aebi
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 322)


To study the ultrastructure of nuclear pore complexes (NPCs), a wide spectrum of different electron microscopy (EM) or atomic force microscopy (AFM) techniques can be employed. The combination of these methods can reveal new insights into the structural and functional organization of this important supramolecular machine through which nucleocytoplasmic transport occurs. Negative staining, quick freezing/freeze-drying/rotary metal shadowing, embedding and thin sectioning, cryoelectron microscopy and tomography, scanning electron microscopy, or combination with immunolabeling techniques are tools for collecting data and information about the three-dimensional structure and architecture of the NPCs. AFM enables investigation of the functional dynamics of native NPCs under physiological conditions.

Key Words

Atomic force microscopy electron microscopy nuclear pore complex nucleus Xenopus laevis 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bohumil Maco
    • 1
  • Birthe Fahrenkrog
    • 1
  • Ning-Ping Huang
    • 1
  • Ueli Aebi
    • 1
  1. 1.M. E. Müller Institute for Structural Biology, BiozentrumUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland

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