Nucleo-Cytoplasmic Exchange

ID #2262

What does it mean for the NPC to have sixfold symmetry?

Where are you seeing 6-fold? I believe the nuclear pore complex (NPC) has 8-fold symmetry. How you determine that is by looking at the high resolution electron micrograph image of the NPC that was in lecture 24. It kind of looks like a circle with spokes on it. If you draw a line from one spoke on one side of the circle to another spoke on the other side of the circle and mentally fold the circle in half along your line, you'll see it's symmetrical. You can do that same thing 7 more times, so there are 8 ways to symmetrically slice a NPC in half, leading to an 8-fold symmetry.

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