Nuclear Pore Complex Structure and Plasticity Revealed by Electron and Atomic Force Microscopy
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 WordsAtomic force microscopy electron microscopy nuclear pore complex nucleus Xenopus laevis
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