The peptide repeat domain of nucleoporin Nup98 functions as a docking site in transport across the nuclear pore complex.
We report the cDNA deduced primary structure of a wheat germ agglutinin-reactive nuclear pore complex (NPC) protein of rat. The protein, termed Nup98 (for nucleoporin of 98 kDa), contains numerous GLFG and FG repeats and some FXFG repeats and is thus a vertebrate member of a family of GLFG nucleoporins that were previously discovered in yeast. Immunoelectron microscopy showed Nup98 to be asymmetrically located at the nucleoplasmic side of the NPC. Nup98 functions as one of several docking site nucleoporins in a cytosolic docking activity-mediated binding of a model transport substrate. The docking site of Nup98 was mapped to its N-terminal half, which contains all of the peptide repeats. A recombinant segment of this region depleted the docking activity of cytosol. We suggest that the peptide repeat domain of Nup98, together with peptide repeat domains of other nucleoporins, forms an array of sites for mediated docking of transport substrate, and that bidirectional transport across the NPC proceeds by repeated docking and undocking reactions.