What Is a Nuclear Pore?

Written by aditya rane
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What Is a Nuclear Pore?
Nuclear pore helps in safeguarding DNA. (dna 3 image by chrisharvey from Fotolia.com)

Human beings and other multicellular organisms have nuclei in their cells. The outer envelope of this nucleus envelope is perforated with small, protein-coated apertures known as nuclear pores.

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Functions

It is believed that nuclear pores play a major role in transporting water-soluble molecules in and out of the nucleus. Nuclear pores also allow certain proteins to enter the nucleus. Viral RNA is exported, and the essential mRNA is taken in by the pores.

Size

The nuclear pore is a comparatively large body consisting of protein complexes. The entire body has a diameter of 120 nanometres (1nanometer = 10 ^ -9 meters) and the height is about 200 nanometres. This size is significant when compared with that of the eukaryotic nucleus, which is approximately 900 to 1,000 nanometres.

Structure

A nuclear pore has an octagonal symmetry. It consists of four parts: the scaffold, the transporter, the filaments and a basket attached to the nucleoplasmic side of the pore. The scaffold is the major portion of the pore.

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