Visualization of a Ran-GTP gradient in interphase and mitotic Xenopus egg extracts.
The small guanosine triphosphatase Ran is loaded with guanosine triphosphate (GTP) by the chromatin-bound guanine nucleotide exchange factor RCC1 and releases import cargoes in the nucleus during interphase. In mitosis, Ran-GTP promotes spindle assembly around chromosomes by locally discharging cargoes that regulate microtubule dynamics and organization. We used fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based biosensors to visualize gradients of Ran-GTP and liberated cargoes around chromosomes in mitotic Xenopus egg extracts. Both gradients were required to assemble and maintain spindle structure. During interphase, Ran-GTP was highly enriched in the nucleoplasm, and a steep concentration difference between nuclear and cytoplasmic Ran-GTP was established, providing evidence for a Ran-GTP gradient surrounding chromosomes throughout the cell cycle.
PubMed ID: 11923538
Article link: Science.
Genes referenced: ran rcc1