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Insight into Vesicle Formation at the Inner Nuclear Membrane

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Hamburg, Oxford. Using multi-modal imaging approaches scientists from Great Britain, the USA and Germany investigated the vesicle formation at the inner nuclear membrane of the herpesvirus capsid. The results have been published in the renowned journal Cell.

Transport in and out a cell’s nucleus occurs mainly via the nuclear pore complex which allows for a free diffusion of smaller molecules and can mediate the active transport of larger complexes. Larger macromolecular assemblies, such as a ribonucleoprotein particle which measures more than 39 nm in diameter, are unable to pass through these pores. It is assumed that these particles use a nucleo-cytoplasmic transport pathway, this pathway has up until now not been studied.

Better understood is the assembly and transport of the herpes virus from the cell nucleus into the cytoplasm, a process that exhibits similarities to the transport of the ribonucleoprotein complex. Scientist used this similarity to help characterize the structural foundations for the vesicle transport of the ribonucleoprotein complex in non-infected cells.

To accomplish this, the scientists used multi-modal imaging approaches. The results characterize the basic principles of the vesicle transport with the help of the herpesvirus capsid at the inner nuclear membrane: the induction of the nuclear egress complex and the architecture of the coated vesicles.

Two of the scientists involved have a tight connection with Hamburg and the Heinrich-Pette-Institut, Leibniz-Institut für Experimentelle Virologie (HPI): Dr. Jens Bosse has been working at the HPI since October and is planning the set-up of his own junior research group. Structure biology Professor Kay Grünewald is a new group leader at the Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB), appointed jointly by HPI and the Universität Hamburg.

Original Publication:
C. Hagen, K. C. Dent, T. Zeev-Ben-Mordehai, M. Grange, J. B. Bosse, C. Whittle, B. G. Klupp, C. A. Siebert, D. Vasishtan, F. J. B. Bäuerlein, J. Cheleski, S. Werner, P. Guttmann, S. Rehbein, K. Henzler, J. Demmerle, B. Adler, U. Koszinowski, L. Schermelleh, G. Schneider, L. W. Enquist, J. M. Plitzko, T. C. Mettenleiter, K. Grünewald (2015).Structural Basis of Vesicle Formation at the Inner Nuclear Membrane. CELL 163, 1-10 December 17, 2015.