< “Knippers” molecular genetics workshop on April 17, 2015
13.07.2015 16:32 Von: Sarah Danes

Nup50 and nuclear pore complex assembly

Paola de Magistris wins prize at 2015 FEBS Congress

At the 40th FEBS Congress, held in Berlin on July 4-9, 2015, second year IMPRS student Paola de Magistris received special recognition for her work. Paola won a "FEBS Letter Poster of the day" prize, awarded by the FEBS publishing group editors, for her poster presentation on "Nup50, a key factor for postmitotic assembly of nuclear pore complexes".


Paola is a native of Italy who joined the group of Wolfram Antonin at the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory in 2013, having obtained her Masters degree in Molecular Biology at Parma University. Her PhD project focuses on nuclear pore complexes (NPCs), large protein complexes located on the double nuclear membrane which function as barriers and regulators of molecule transit between the cytoplasmic and nuclear compartments. Paola is particularly interested in the way these complexes assemble at the end of mitosis and the role that the small 50 kDa nucleoporin Nup50 assumes in this process.


Paola’s poster showed how depletion of Nup50 in Xenopus egg extract blocks NPC assembly in vitro, whereas formation of the nuclear envelope is unaffected. A similar phenotype has previously been described for Mel28/ELYS, which is required for the same process and which tethers components of the core NPC onto the decondensing chromatin in the early stages of the nuclear assembly. However, Paola’s experiments show that Nup50 and Mel28 function independently in NPC assembly. Nup50 must have a critical role in NPC assembly at the end of mitosis, in an event that occurs in parallel and probably simultaneously to Mel28/ELYS mediated chromatin seeding of NPC core components.