The three-dimensional structure of the nuclear pore complex has been determined to a resolution of approximately 90 A by electron microscopy using nuclear envelopes from Xenopus oocytes. It is shown to be an assembly of several discrete constituents arranged with octagonal symmetry about a central axis. There are apparent twofold axes perpendicular to the octad axis which suggest that the framework of the pore complex is constructed from two equal but oppositely facing halves. The half facing the cytoplasm is in some instances decorated by large particles, similar in appearance and size to ribosomes.

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