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Transport through the nuclear pore complex : crowding and plasticity - Fabien Montel

Laboratoire Matière et Systèmes Complexes (UMR 7057).


The nuclear pore complex is the unique gateway between the nucleus and the cytoplasm of the cells. It ensures both directional and selective transport of nucleic acids and proteins. Its detailed mechanism is still highly debated and in particular its ability to react to very different environments. Using two different single molecule techniques we studied the influence of external control parameters (molecular crowding and development stage) on its structure and dynamics. We used a near field optics technique to quantify the effect of the molecular crowding of the pore on the transport through native and mimetic pores. De Gennes- Brochard model for polymer injection is extended and the critical pressure for cargo translocation is measured to extract the free energy of translocation in different conditions. Our results obtained using optical super-resolution indicates that development impacts the internal diameter of the nuclear pore complex. This effect can be recapitulated by a change in transcriptional activity. We also observe and quantify a 2D phase transition from a dense and amorphous structure to the large scale crystallization of the pores on a square lattice during development.

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