Nuclear export of mRNA in eukaryotic cells is mediated by soluble transport factors and components of the nuclear pore complex (NPC). The cytoplasmically oriented nuclear pore protein Nup159 plays a critical role in mRNA export through its conserved N-terminal domain (NTD). Here, we report the crystal structure of the Nup159 NTD, refined to 2.5 Å. The structure reveals an unusually asymmetric seven-bladed β-propeller that is structurally conserved throughout eukarya. Using structure-based conservation analysis, we have targeted specific surface residues for mutagenesis. Residue substitutions in a conserved loop of the NTD abolish in vitro binding to Dbp5, a DEAD box helicase required for mRNA export. In vivo, these mutations cause Dbp5 mislocalization and block mRNA export. These findings suggest that the Nup159 NTD functions in mRNA export as a binding platform, tethering shuttling Dbp5 molecules at the nuclear periphery and locally concentrating this mRNA remodeling factor at the cytoplasmic face of the NPC.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|State||Published - Dec 3 2004|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology