Nuclear Transport Animations

Illustrations and Animations by Samir S. Patel


All media © 2001-2006 Samir S. Patel.  Please reference appropriately if you use these these images and movies.  Learn more about nuclear transport and nuclear pore complexes at the Rexach Lab Web Site.  To download an animation, click on the "Google Video" link at the bottom right corner of each animation, "Go to Google Video", then "Download" for "Video iPod". Contact me. See the illustrations.




Into The Nucleus

This movie shows the nucleus, nuclear pore complexes, and the import of a model transport complex (docking, translocation, release) through a NPC. Download animation.

Nuclear Pore Complex

These videos show an isolated model NPC from the side and from the top (cytoplasm looking towards the nucleus). Download animations: Side, Top.

Transport Complex

This video shows a transport complex based on the importin a/b heterodimer. b is on top, a is in the center, and a hypothetical cNLS-Cargo is at bottom. The combined a/b molecules are form a "S" shape more common for the larger members of the karyopherin b family. The NLS fits into a groove along the body of a. Download animation.

Importin b / Kap95

These animations are 3D renderings based on the crystal structure of importin b (known as Kap95 in yeast). The structure consists entirely of alpha helices. PDB ID# 1QGK. Reference: Cingolani, G., Petosa, C., Weis, K., Muller, C.W. Structure of importin-beta bound to the IBB domain of importin-alpha. Nature v399 pp.221-229, 1999.

Rotating side view. Download animation.

Rotating top view. Download animation.

Importin a / Kap60

This animation is a 3D rendering based on the crystal structure of importin a (known as Kap60 in yeast). The structure consists entirely of alpha helices. PDB ID# 1BK5. Reference: Conti, E., Uy, M., Leighton, L., Blobel, G., Kuriyan, J. Crystallographic analysis of the recognition of a nuclear localization signal by the nuclear import factor karyopherin alpha. Cell v94 pp.193-204, 1998. Download animation.

Ran GTPase

This animation is a 3D rendering based on the crystal structure of Ran complexed with GMP-PNP, a non-hydrolysable nucleotide analog of GTP (PDB ID# 1RRP). Reference: Vetter, I.R., Nowak, C., Nishimoto, T., Kuhlmann, J., Wittinghofer, A. Structure of a Ran-binding domain complexed with Ran bound to a GTP analogue: implications for nuclear transport. Nature v398 pp.39-46, 1999. Download animation.

Nuclear Pore Complex - Core

This animation provides a hypothetical view of the NPC central meshwork, and a putative transport complex navigating through it. In reality, the transport complex is likely to "bounce" around more within the meshwork before it finds its way through. Download animation.

Competition vs. Induced Dissociation

One complex can be favored over another by the presence of a high concentration of competitor. The competitor can simply titrate all available receptor molecules as receptor-ligand complexes dissociate at an intrinsic off-rate, or the competitor can induce dissociation of the ligand from the receptor by allosteric binding. Download animation.

Competition - titration of a binding site. Download animation.

Induced Dissociation - allosteric effect. Download animation.