Directionality of nucleocytoplasmic transport of the retroviral gag protein depends on sequential binding of karyopherins and viral RNA.
ABSTRACT: Retroviral Gag polyproteins coopt host factors to traffic from cytosolic ribosomes to the plasma membrane, where virions are released. Before membrane transport, the multidomain Gag protein of Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) undergoes importin-mediated nuclear import and CRM1-dependent nuclear export, an intrinsic step in the assembly pathway. Transient nuclear trafficking of Gag is required for efficient viral RNA (vRNA) encapsidation, suggesting that Gag:vRNA binding might occur in the nucleus. Here, we show that Gag is imported into the nucleus through direct interactions of the Gag NC domain with importin-alpha (imp-alpha) and the MA domain with importin-11 (imp-11). The vRNA packaging signal, known as psi, inhibited imp-alpha binding to Gag, indicating that the NC domain does not bind to imp-alpha and vRNA simultaneously. Unexpectedly, vRNA binding also prevented the association of imp-11 with both the MA domain alone and with Gag, suggesting that the MA domain may bind to the vRNA genome. In contrast, direct binding of Gag to the nuclear export factor CRM1, via the CRM1-RanGTP heterodimer, was stimulated by psiRNA. These findings suggest a model whereby the genomic vRNA serves as a switch to regulate the ordered association of host import/export factors that mediate Gag nucleocytoplasmic trafficking for virion assembly. The Gag:vRNA interaction appears to serve multiple critical roles in assembly: specific selection of the vRNA genome for packaging, stimulating the formation of Gag dimers, and triggering export of viral ribonucleoprotein complexes from the nucleus.
Project description:Unspliced, genomic HIV-1 RNA (vRNA) is a component of several ribonucleoprotein complexes (RNP) during the viral replication cycle. In earlier work, we demonstrated that the host upframeshift protein 1 (UPF1), a key factor in nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD), colocalized and associated to the viral structural protein Gag during viral egress. In this work, we demonstrate a new function for UPF1 in the regulation of vRNA nuclear export. OPEN ACCESS Biomolecules 2015, 5 2809 We establish that the nucleocytoplasmic shuttling of UPF1 is required for this function and demonstrate that UPF1 exists in two essential viral RNPs during the late phase of HIV-1 replication: the first, in a nuclear export RNP that contains Rev, CRM1, DDX3 and the nucleoporin p62, and the second, which excludes these nuclear export markers but contains Gag in the cytoplasm. Interestingly, we observed that both UPF2 and the long isoform of UPF3a, UPF3aL, but not the shorter isoforms UPF3aS and UPF3b, are excluded from the UPF1-Rev-CRM1-DDX3 complex as they are negative regulators of vRNA nuclear export. In silico protein-protein docking analyses suggest that Rev binds UPF1 in a region that overlaps the UPF2 binding site, thus explaining the exclusion of this negative regulatory factor by HIV-1 that is necessary for vRNA trafficking. This work uncovers a novel and unique regulatory circuit involving several UPF proteins that ultimately regulate vRNA nuclear export and trafficking.
Project description:The phenylanine-glycine (FG)-rich regions of several nucleoporins both bind to nuclear transport receptors and collectively provide a diffusion barrier to the nuclear pores. However, the in vivo roles of FG nucleoporins in transport remain unclear. We have inactivated 30 putative nucleoporins in cultured Drosophila melanogaster S2 cells by RNA interference and analyzed the phenotypes on importin alpha/beta-mediated import and CRM1-dependent protein export. The fly homologues of FG nucleoporins Nup358, Nup153, and Nup54 are selectively required for import. The FG repeats of Nup153 are necessary for its function in transport, whereas the remainder of the protein maintains pore integrity. Inactivation of the CRM1 cofactor RanBP3 decreased the nuclear accumulation of CRM1 and protein export. We report a surprisingly antagonistic relationship between RanBP3 and the Nup214 FG region in determining CRM1 localization and its function in protein export. Our data suggest that peripheral metazoan FG nucleoporins have distinct functions in nuclear protein transport events.
Project description:In eukaryotic cells, proteins and RNAs are transported between the nucleus and the cytoplasm by nuclear import and export receptors. Over the past decade, small molecules that inhibit the nuclear export receptor CRM1 have been identified, most notably leptomycin B. However, up to now no small molecule inhibitors of nuclear import have been described. Here we have used our automated confocal nanoscanning and bead picking method (CONA) for on-bead screening of a one-bead one-compound library to identify the first such import inhibitor, karyostatin 1A. Karyostatin 1A binds importin ? with high nanomolar affinity and specifically inhibits importin ?/? mediated nuclear import at low micromolar concentrations in vitro and in living cells, without perturbing transportin mediated nuclear import or CRM1 mediated nuclear export. Surface plasmon resonance binding experiments suggest that karyostatin 1A acts by disrupting the interaction between importin ? and the GTPase Ran. As a selective inhibitor of the importin ?/? import pathway, karyostatin 1A will provide a valuable tool for future studies of nucleocytoplasmic trafficking.
Project description:The negative cofactor 2 (NC2) is a protein complex composed of two subunits, NC2alpha and NC2beta, and plays a key role in transcription regulation. Here we investigate whether each subunit contains a nuclear localization signal (NLS) that permits individual crossing of the nuclear membrane or whether nuclear import of NC2alpha and NC2beta depends on heterodimerization. Our results from in vitro binding studies and transfection experiments in cultured cells show that each subunit contains a classical NLS (cNLS) that is recognized by the importin alpha/beta heterodimer. Regardless of the individual cNLSs the two NC2 subunits are translocated as a preassembled complex as co-transfection experiments with wild-type and cNLS-deficient NC2 subunits demonstrate. Ran-dependent binding of the nuclear export receptor Crm1/exportin 1 confirmed the presence of a leucine-rich nuclear export signal (NES) in NC2beta. In contrast, NC2alpha does not exhibit a NES. Our results from interspecies heterokaryon assays suggest that heterodimerization with NC2alpha masks the NES in NC2beta, which prevents nuclear export of the NC2 complex. A mutation in either one of the two cNLSs decreases the extent of importin alpha/beta-mediated nuclear import of the NC2 complex. In addition, the NC2 complex can enter the nucleus via a second pathway, facilitated by importin 13. Because importin 13 binds exclusively to the NC2 complex but not to the individual subunits this alternative import pathway depends on sequence elements distributed among the two subunits.
Project description:Gli2 is the primary transcriptional activator of Hedgehog signalling in mammals. Upon stimulation of the pathway, Gli2 moves into the cilium before reaching the nucleus. However, the mechanisms underlying its entry into the cilium are not completely understood. Since several similarities have been reported between nuclear and ciliary import, we investigated if the nuclear import machinery participates in Gli2 ciliary entry. Here we show that while two conserved classical nuclear localization signals mediate Gli2 nuclear localization via importin (Imp)-?/?1, these sequences are not required for Gli2 ciliary import. However, blocking Imp-mediated transport through overexpression of GTP-locked Ran reduced the percentage of Gli2 positive cilia, an effect that was not explained by increased CRM1-dependent export of Gli2 from the cilium. We explored the participation of Imp-?2 in Gli2 ciliary traffic and observed that this transporter is involved in moving Gli2 into the cilium, as has been described for other ciliary proteins. In addition, our data indicate that Imp-?2 might also collaborate in Gli2 nuclear entry. How does Imp-?2 determine the final destination of a protein that can localize to two distinct subcellular compartments remains an open question. Therefore, our data shows that the nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling machinery plays a critical role mediating the subcellular distribution of Gli2 and the activation of the pathway, but distinct importins likely play a differential role mediating its ciliary and nuclear translocation.
Project description:CRM1 (also known as XPO1 and exportin 1) mediates nuclear export of hundreds of proteins through the recognition of the leucine-rich nuclear export signal (LR-NES). Here we present the 2.9 A structure of CRM1 bound to snurportin 1 (SNUPN). Snurportin 1 binds CRM1 in a bipartite manner by means of an amino-terminal LR-NES and its nucleotide-binding domain. The LR-NES is a combined alpha-helical-extended structure that occupies a hydrophobic groove between two CRM1 outer helices. The LR-NES interface explains the consensus hydrophobic pattern, preference for intervening electronegative residues and inhibition by leptomycin B. The second nuclear export signal epitope is a basic surface on the snurportin 1 nucleotide-binding domain, which binds an acidic patch on CRM1 adjacent to the LR-NES site. Multipartite recognition of individually weak nuclear export signal epitopes may be common to CRM1 substrates, enhancing CRM1 binding beyond the generally low affinity LR-NES. Similar energetic construction is also used in multipartite nuclear localization signals to provide broad substrate specificity and rapid evolution in nuclear transport.
Project description:Rabies virus P-protein is expressed as five isoforms (P1-P5) which undergo nucleocytoplasmic trafficking important to roles in immune evasion. Although nuclear import of P3 is known to be mediated by an importin (IMP)-recognised nuclear localization sequence in the N-terminal region (N-NLS), the mechanisms underlying nuclear import of other P isoforms in which the N-NLS is inactive or has been deleted have remained unresolved. Based on the previous observation that mutation of basic residues K214/R260 of the P-protein C-terminal domain (P-CTD) can result in nuclear exclusion of P3, we used live cell imaging, protein interaction analysis and in vitro nuclear transport assays to examine in detail the nuclear trafficking properties of this domain. We find that the effect of mutation of K214/R260 on P3 is largely dependent on nuclear export, suggesting that nuclear exclusion of mutated P3 involves the P-CTD-localized nuclear export sequence (C-NES). However, assays using cells in which nuclear export is pharmacologically inhibited indicate that these mutations significantly inhibit P3 nuclear accumulation and, importantly, prevent nuclear accumulation of P1, suggestive of effects on NLS-mediated import activity in these isoforms. Consistent with this, molecular binding and transport assays indicate that the P-CTD mediates IMP?2/IMP?1-dependent nuclear import by conferring direct binding to the IMP?2/IMP?1 heterodimer, as well as to a truncated form of IMP?2 lacking the IMP?-binding autoinhibitory domain (?IBB-IMP?2), and IMP?1 alone. These properties are all dependent on K214 and R260. This provides the first evidence that P-CTD contains a genuine IMP-binding NLS, and establishes the mechanism by which P-protein isoforms other than P3 can be imported to the nucleus. These data underpin a refined model for P-protein trafficking that involves the concerted action of multiple NESs and IMP-binding NLSs, and highlight the intricate regulation of P-protein subcellular localization, consistent with important roles in infection.
Project description:In contrast to most RNA viruses, influenza viruses replicate their genome in the nucleus of infected cells. As a result, newly-synthesized vRNA genomes, in the form of viral ribonucleoprotein complexes (vRNPs), must be exported to the cytoplasm for productive infection. To characterize the composition of vRNP export complexes and their interplay with the nucleus of infected cells, we affinity-purified tagged vRNPs from biochemically fractionated infected nuclei. After treatment of infected cells with leptomycin B, a potent inhibitor of Crm1-mediated export, we isolated vRNP export complexes which, unexpectedly, were tethered to the host-cell chromatin with very high affinity. At late time points of infection, the cellular export receptor Crm1 also accumulated at the same regions of the chromatin as vRNPs, which led to a decrease in the export of other nuclear Crm1 substrates from the nucleus. Interestingly, chromatin targeting of vRNP export complexes brought them into association with Rcc1, the Ran guanine exchange factor responsible for generating RanGTP and driving Crm1-dependent nuclear export. Thus, influenza viruses gain preferential access to newly-generated host cell export machinery by targeting vRNP export complexes at the sites of Ran regeneration.
Project description:The initial steps of spliceosomal small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) maturation take place in the cytoplasm. After formation of an Sm-core and a trimethylguanosine (TMG) cap, the RNPs are transported into the nucleus via the import adaptor snurportin1 (SPN) and the import receptor importin-beta. To better understand this process, we identified SPN residues that are required to mediate interactions with TMG caps, importin-beta, and the export receptor, exportin1 (Xpo1/Crm1). Mutation of a single arginine residue within the importin-beta binding domain (IBB) disrupted the interaction with importin-beta, but preserved the ability of SPN to bind Xpo1 or TMG caps. Nuclear transport assays showed that this IBB mutant is deficient for snRNP import but that import can be rescued by addition of purified survival of motor neurons (SMN) protein complexes. Conserved tryptophan residues outside of the IBB are required for TMG binding. However, SPN can be imported into the nucleus without cargo. Interestingly, SPN targets to Cajal bodies when U2 but not U1 snRNPs are imported as cargo. SPN also relocalizes to Cajal bodies upon treatment with leptomycin B. Finally, we uncovered an interaction between the N- and C-terminal domains of SPN, suggesting an autoregulatory function similar to that of importin-alpha.
Project description:In the canonical Wnt pathway, beta-catenin acts as a key coactivator that stimulates target gene expression through interaction with Tcf/Lef transcription factors. Its nuclear accumulation is the hallmark of active Wnt signaling and is frequently associated with cancers. Chibby (Cby) is an evolutionarily conserved molecule that represses beta-catenin-dependent gene activation. Although Cby, in conjunction with 14-3-3 chaperones, controls beta-catenin distribution, its molecular nature remains largely unclear. Here, we provide compelling evidence that Cby harbors bona fide nuclear localization signal (NLS) and nuclear export signal (NES) motifs, and constitutively shuttles between the nucleus and cytoplasm. Efficient nuclear export of Cby requires a cooperative action of the intrinsic NES, 14-3-3, and the CRM1 nuclear export receptor. Notably, 14-3-3 docking provokes Cby binding to CRM1 while inhibiting its interaction with the nuclear import receptor importin-alpha, thereby promoting cytoplasmic compartmentalization of Cby at steady state. Importantly, the NLS- and NES-dependent shuttling of Cby modulates the dynamic intracellular localization of beta-catenin. In support of our model, short hairpin RNA-mediated knockdown of endogenous Cby results in nuclear accumulation of beta-catenin. Taken together, these findings unravel the molecular basis through which a combinatorial action of Cby and 14-3-3 proteins controls the dynamic nuclear-cytoplasmic trafficking of beta-catenin.