Cellular Logistics

Transport processes between nucleus and cytoplasm

Press releases & research news

How HIV smuggles its genetic material into the cell nucleus

Around one million individuals worldwide become infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, each year. To replicate and spread the infection, the virus must smuggle its genetic material into the cell nucleus and integrate it into a chromosome. Researchers headed by Dirk Görlich as well as Thomas Schwartz at MIT have now discovered that its capsid has evolved into a molecular transporter. As such, it can directly breach a crucial barrier, which normally protects the cell nucleus against viral invaders. more

Dirk Görlich receives Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine 2024

The Louis-Jeantet Foundation honors our Director for discovering a new kind of biological matter that acts as a highly selective barrier to control central transport pathways in the cell. He has made groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of the processes by which macromolecules are transported into and out of the cell nucleus, the foundation said. more

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Yearbook Article (2009)
Logistics on smallest possible space: Transport processes between cell nucleus and cytoplasm
The cell nucleus is enclosed by the nuclear envelope, lacks protein synthesis and therefore imports each and every protein from the cytosol. Conversely, the nucleus supplies the cytoplasm with nuclear products, such as ribosomes, tRNAs and mRNAs. The permeability barrier of nuclear pore complexes controls all this exchange. This permeability barrier is an "intelligent" hydrogel with truly remarkable properties. It excludes inert macromolecules, but permits an up to 20,000-fold faster entry of cargoes, when these are bound to appropriate nuclear transport receptors. (in German) more
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