MTR10, previously shown to be involved in mRNA export, was found in a synthetic lethal relationship with nucleoporin NUP85. Green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged Mtr10p localizes preferentially inside the nucleus, but a nuclear pore and cytoplasmic distribution is also evident. Purified Mtr10p forms a complex with Npl3p, an RNA-binding protein that shuttles in and out of the nucleus. In mtr10 mutants, nuclear uptake of Npl3p is strongly impaired at the restrictive temperature, while import of a classic nuclear localization signal (NLS)-containing protein is not. Accordingly, the NLS within Npl3p is extended and consists of the RGG box plus a short and non-repetitive C-terminal tail. Mtr10p interacts in vitro with Gsp1p-GTP, but with low affinity. Interestingly, Npl3p dissociates from Mtr10p only by incubation with Ran-GTP plus RNA. This suggests that Npl3p follows a distinct nuclear import pathway and that intranuclear release from its specific import receptor Mtr10p requires the cooperative action of both Ran-GTP and newly synthesized mRNA.