Pathways to Cancer: Inside the Nucleus


The activated protein (in pink) is transported into the nucleus through a pore in the nuclear membrane. The nucleus contains tightly wound coils of DNA (shown in green). The signal is passed to two other molecules, Fos and Jun (in yellow and pink) that team up to locate a specific gene along the DNA. Fos and jun bind the DNA, starting the process of transcription. Other proteins are then called into play that unwind and open the DNA molecule so that RNA polymerase (shown in brown) can make a copy of the genetic information. The "copy," called messenger RNA (here in light green), is packaged with a set of carrier proteins and leaves the nucleus. The cell will use this copy to make a new protein.