Gp210 is an evolutionarily conserved membrane protein of the nuclear pore complex (NPC). We studied the phenotypes produced by RNAi-induced downregulation of gp210 in both human (HeLa) cells and Caenorhabditis elegans embryos. HeLa cell viability requires Gp210 activity. The dying cells accumulated clustered NPCs and aberrant membrane structures at the nuclear envelope, suggesting that gp210 is required directly or indirectly for nuclear pore formation and dilation as well as the anchoring or structural integrity of mature NPCs. Essential roles for gp210 were confirmed in C. elegans, where RNAi-induced reduction of gp210 caused embryonic lethality. The nuclear envelopes of embryos with reduced gp210 also had aberrant nuclear membrane structures and clustered NPCs, confirming that gp210 plays critical roles at the nuclear membrane through mechanisms that are conserved from nematodes to humans.