Into the basket and beyond: The journey of mRNA through the nuclear pore complex

Asaf Ashkenazy-Titelman, Yaron Shav-Tal, Ralph H. Kehlenbach

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The genetic information encoded in nuclear mRNA destined to reach the cytoplasm requires the interaction of the mRNA molecule with the nuclear pore complex (NPC) for the process of mRNA export. Numerous proteins have important roles in the transport of mRNA out of the nucleus. The NPC embedded in the nuclear envelope is the port of exit for mRNA and is composed of ∼30 unique proteins, nucleoporins, forming the distinct structures of the nuclear basket, the pore channel and cytoplasmic filaments. Together, they serve as a rather stationary complex engaged in mRNA export, while a variety of soluble protein factors dynamically assemble on the mRNA and mediate the interactions of the mRNA with the NPC. mRNA export factors are recruited to and dissociate from the mRNA at the site of transcription on the gene, during the journey through the nucleoplasm and at the nuclear pore at the final stages of export. In this review, we present the current knowledge derived from biochemical, molecular, structural and imaging studies, to develop a high-resolution picture of the many events that culminate in the successful passage of the mRNA out of the nucleus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-44
Number of pages22
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 17 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s).


YST is supported by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF) and the Germany-Israel Foundation (GIF). R.H.K. is supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG, grants SFB860, SFB1190 and KE 660/14-1).

FundersFunder number
Germany-Israel Foundation
Deutsche ForschungsgemeinschaftKE 660/14-1, SFB1190, SFB860
Israel Science Foundation


    Dive into the research topics of 'Into the basket and beyond: The journey of mRNA through the nuclear pore complex'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this