The yeast nuclear envelope protein NSP1 is located at the nuclear pores and mediates its essential function via the carboxy-terminal domain. The passenger protein, cytosolic dihydrofolate reductase from mouse, was fused to the 220 residue long NSP1 carboxy-terminal domain. When expressed in yeast, this chimeric protein was tightly associated with nuclear structures and was localized at the nuclear periphery very similar to authentic NSP1. Furthermore, the DHFR-C-NSP1 fusion protein was able to complement a yeast mutant lacking a functional NSP1 gene showing that DHFR-C-NSP1 fulfils the same basic function as compared to the endogenous NSP1 protein. These data also show that the NSP1 protein is composed of separate functional moieties: a carboxy-terminal domain that is sufficient to mediate the association with the nuclear periphery and an amino-terminal and middle repetitive domain with an as yet unknown function. It is suggested that heptad repeats found in the NSP1 carboxy-terminal domain, which are similar to those found in intermediate filament proteins, are crucial for mediating the association with the nuclear pores.

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