NPCs are supramolecular assemblies consisting of several copies of ~ 30 different proteins. They mediate highly selectively all nucleocytoplasmic transport and thereby safeguard the nuclear DNA. Moreover, NPC proteins act as potent transcription factors with key physiological and developmental roles. Given the fundamental roles of NPCs, it comes as no surprise that their malfunction is associated with cancer and ageing related diseases amongst others. We designed several experimental assays enabling comprehensive structural, functional, biochemical and biophysical NPC investigations under physiological and pathophysiological (apoptosis and viral infections) conditions. For this purpose we apply several atomic force microscopy techniques, confocal and epifluorescence microscopies in combination with diverse biochemical methods.
A. Kramer et al., PNAS 2008