In a screen for mutants defective in nucleocytoplasmic export of mRNA, we have identified a new component of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae nuclear pore complex (NPC). The RAT9/NUP85 (ribonucleic acid trafficking) gene encodes an 84.9-kDa protein that we have localized to NPCs by tagging the RAT9/NUP85 gene with the in vivo molecular marker Green Fluorescent Protein. In cells containing either the rat9-1 allele or a complete deletion of the RAT9/NUP85 gene, poly(A)+ RNA accumulates rapidly in nuclei after a shift from 23 degrees C to 37 degrees C. Under these same conditions, rapid fragmentation of the nucleolus was also observed. At the permissive growth temperature in rat9-1 or RAT9 deletion strains, the nuclear envelope (NE) becomes detached from the main body of the nucleus, forming long thin double sheets of NE. NPCs within these sheets are clustered and some appear to be locked together between opposing sheets of NE such that their nucleoplasmic faces are in contact. The Rat9/Nup85 protein could not be detected in cells carrying a mutation of RAT2/NUP120, suggesting that Rat9p/Nup85p cannot be assembled into NPCs in the absence of Rat2p/Nup120p. In contrast,Rat9/ Nup85 protein was readily incorporated into NPCs in strains carrying mutant alleles of other nucleoporin genes. The possible role of Rat9p/Nup85p in NE integrity and the loss of nucleoporins when another nucleoporin is mutant or absent are discussed.
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