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Last of three lectures by Prof. Yitzhak Rabin at BU School of Engineering

Bioengineering/biophysics seminar at Boston University

                     Professor Yitzhak Rabin

                             Bar-Ilan University

Transport of DNA and proteins through nuclear pores

Location:     Boston University
                     ERB 203,
                          44 Cummington Street

                                   Date:             October 15, 2003                     

                               Time: 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.



All the transport between the cytoplasm and the nucleoplasm of eukarotic cells takes place through the nucleopores which are large protein complexes (NPC) that permeate the nuclear membrane. We present experimental results on the  translocation of DNA through the NPC of reconstituted nuclei, and discuss the origin of the anomalously slow rate of translocation and the slowing down of entry with time. We then discuss the mystery of protein translocation across the NPC – while small proteins and gold particles go through by passive diffusion, the translocation of large cargoes proceeds only through the formation of even larger cargo-NLS-importin complexes (CIC), that go through the pore without ATP/GTP consumption! We propose a model according to which (a) the NPC is blocked by a protein network (FG Nups) whose open and closed states are separated by a large free energy barrier and (b) the CIC acts as a catalyst that can reduce the barrier and pass through. The results of Brownian dynamics simulations based on this model are presented.










Prof. Rama Bansil

Physics Department

Boston University

590 Commonwealth Ave.

Boston MA 02215


Phone: 617 353 2969

FAX: 617 353 9393