Over the last decade, the nuclear envelope (NE) has emerged as a key component in the organization and function of the nuclear genome. As many as 100 different proteins are thought to specifically localize to this double membrane that separates the cytoplasm and the nucleoplasm of eukaryotic cells. Selective portals through the NE are formed at sites where the inner and outer nuclear membranes are fused, and the coincident assembly of approximately 30 proteins into nuclear pore complexes occurs. These nuclear pore complexes are essential for the control of nucleocytoplasmic exchange. Many of the NE and nuclear pore proteins are thought to play crucial roles in gene regulation and thus are increasingly linked to human diseases.