We have taken a combined genetic and biochemical approach to identify major constituents of the yeast nuclear pore complex (NPC). A synthetic lethal screen was used to identify proteins which interact genetically with the major pore-membrane protein Pom152p. In parallel, polypeptides present in similar amounts to Pom152p in a highly enriched preparation of yeast NPCs have been characterized by direct microsequencing. These approaches have led to the identification of two novel and major nucleoporins, Nup170p and Nup157p. Both Nup170p and Nup157p are similar to each other and to an abundant mammalian nucleoporin, Nup155p (Radu, A., G. Blobel, and R. W. Wozniak. 1993. J. Cell Biol. 121: 1-9) and interestingly, nup170 mutants can be complemented with mammalian NUP155. In addition, the synthetic lethal screen identified genetic interactions between Pom152p and two other major nucleoporins, Nup188p (Nehrbass, U., S. Maguire, M. Rout, G. Blobel, and R. W. Wozniak, manuscript submitted for publication), and Nic96p (Grandi, P., V. Doye, and E. C. Hurt. 1993. EMBO J. 12: 3061-71). We have determined that together, Nup170p, Nup157p, Pom152p, Nup188p, and Nic96p comprise greater than one-fifth of the mass of the isolated yeast NPC. Examination of the genetic interactions between these proteins indicate that while deletion of either POM152, NUP170, or NUP188 alone is not lethal, pairwise combinations are. Deletion of NUP157 is also not lethal. However, nup157 null mutants, while lethal in combination with nup170 and nup188 null alleles, are not synthetically lethal with pom152 null alleles. We suggest that Nup170p and Nup157p may be part of a morphologically symmetrical but functionally distinct substructure of the yeast NPC, e.g., the nucleoplasmic and cytoplasmic rings. Finally, we observed morphological abnormalities in the nuclear envelope as a function of alterations in the expression levels of NUP170 suggesting a specific stoichiometric relationship between NPC components is required for the maintenance of normal nuclear structure.

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