The main focus of the Rout lab’s work is to determine the structure, dynamics and function of cellular macromolecular assemblies, developing tools where necessary to do so. Our main focus is the nuclear pore complex (NPC), which mediates trafficking between the cytoplasm and nucleoplasm, and also plays key roles in chromatin silencing, transcriptional regulation, and other crucial cellular processes. Our main goals are to: (i) understand the molecular architecture of the NPC, ultimately at atomic resolution, shedding light on its principles of construction, assembly, and evolutionary origins; and (ii) understand how the NPC interacts with cargo carrying transport factors to mediate and regulate their passage across the NE. We ultimately aim to generate dynamic maps of the transporting NPC at the atomic and microsecond level of resolution.
Our NPC studies are the best example of the tremendous potential of the approaches we have used, and we have spent many years developing proteomic, structural and computational approaches that have allowed us to dissect the structure and function of diverse macromolecular assemblies and interactome networks.