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The nuclear envelope (NE) is a bilayer membrane that separates and physically isolates the genetic material from the cytoplasm. Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) are cylindrical structures embedded in the NE and remain the sole channel of communication between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. The interior of NPCs contains densely packed intrinsically disordered FG-nucleoporins (FG-Nups), consequently forming a permeability barrier. This barrier facilitates the selection and specificity of the cargoes that are imported, exported, or shuttled through the NPCs. Recent studies have revealed that FG-Nups undergo the process of liquid-liquid phase separation into liquid droplets. Moreover, these liquid droplets mimic the permeability barrier observed in the interior of NPCs. This review highlights the phase separation of FG-Nups occurring inside the NPCs rooted in the NE. We discuss the phase separation of FG-Nups and compare the different aspects contributing to their phase separation. Furthermore, several diseases caused by the aberrant phase separation of the proteins are examined with respect to NEs. By understanding the fundamental process of phase separation at the nuclear membrane, the review seeks to explore the parameters influencing this phenomenon as well as its importance, ultimately paving the way for better research on the structure-function relationship of biomolecular condensates. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Niharika Nag, Santanu Sasidharan, Vladimir N Uversky, Prakash Saudagar, Timir Tripathi. Phase separation of FG-nucleoporins in nuclear pore complexes. Biochimica et biophysica acta. Molecular cell research. 2022 Apr;1869(4):119205

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PMID: 34995711

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