Recognition of nuclear targeting signals by Karyopherin-β proteins.
ABSTRACT: The Karyopherin-β family of nuclear transport factors mediates the majority of nucleocytoplasmic transport. Although each of the 19 Karyopherin-βs transports unique sets of cargos, only three classes of nuclear localization and export signals, or NLSs and NESs, have been characterized. The short basic classical-NLS was first discovered in the 1980s and their karyopherin-bound structures were first reported more than 10 years ago. More recently, structural and biophysical studies of Karyopherin-β2-cargo complexes led to definition of the complex and diverse PY-NLS. Structural knowledge of the leucine-rich NES is finally available more than 10 years after the discovery of its recognition by the exportin CRM1. We review recent findings relating to how these three classes of nuclear targeting signals are recognized by their Karyopherin-β nuclear transport factors.
Project description:Import-Karyopherin or Importin proteins bind nuclear localization signals (NLSs) to mediate the import of proteins into the cell nucleus. Karyopherin ?2 or Kap?2, also known as Transportin, is a member of this transporter family responsible for the import of numerous RNA binding proteins. Kap?2 recognizes a targeting signal termed the PY-NLS that lies within its cargos to target them through the nuclear pore complex. The recognition of PY-NLS by Kap?2 is conserved throughout eukaryotes. Kap104, the Kap?2 homolog in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, recognizes PY-NLSs in cargos Nab2, Hrp1, and Tfg2. We have determined the crystal structure of Kap?2 bound to the PY-NLS of the mRNA processing protein Nab2 at 3.05-Å resolution. A seven-residue segment of the PY-NLS of Nab2 is observed to bind Kap?2 in an extended conformation and occupies the same PY-NLS binding site observed in other Kap?2·PY-NLS structures.
Project description:CTNNBL1 is a spliceosome-associated protein that binds nuclear localization signals (NLSs) in splice factors CDC5L and Prp31 as well as the antibody diversifying enzyme AID. Here, crystal structures of human CTNNBL1 reveal a distinct structure from its closest homologue karyopherin-?. CTNNBL1 comprises a HEAT-like domain (including a nuclear export signal), a central armadillo domain, and a coiled-coil C-terminal domain. Structure-guided mutations of the region homologous to the karyopherin-? NLS-binding site fail to disrupt CTNNBL1-NLS interactions. Our results identify CTNNBL1 as a unique selective NLS-binding protein with striking differences from karyopherin-?s.
Project description:Karyopherinbeta (Kapbeta) proteins bind nuclear localization and export signals (NLSs and NESs) to mediate nucleocytoplasmic trafficking, a process regulated by Ran GTPase through its nucleotide cycle. Diversity and complexity of signals recognized by Kap betas have prevented prediction of new Kap beta substrates. The structure of Kap beta 2 (also known as Transportin) bound to one of its substrates, the NLS of hnRNP A1, that we report here explains the mechanism of substrate displacement by Ran GTPase. Further analyses reveal three rules for NLS recognition by Kap beta 2: NLSs are structurally disordered in free substrates, have overall basic character, and possess a central hydrophobic or basic motif followed by a C-terminal R/H/KX(2-5)PY consensus sequence. We demonstrate the predictive nature of these rules by identifying NLSs in seven previously known Kap beta 2 substrates and uncovering 81 new candidate substrates, confirming five experimentally. These studies define and validate a new NLS that could not be predicted by primary sequence analysis alone.
Project description:Nuclear proteins typically contain short stretches of basic amino acids (nuclear localization sequences; NLSs) that bind karyopherin ? family members, directing nuclear import. Here, we identify CTNNBL1 (catenin-?-like 1), an armadillo motif-containing nuclear protein that exhibits no detectable primary sequence homology to karyopherin ?, as a novel, selective NLS-binding protein. CTNNBL1 (a single-copy gene conserved from fission yeast to man) was previously found associated with Prp19-containing RNA-splicing complexes as well as with the antibody-diversifying enzyme AID. We find that CTNNBL1 association with the Prp19 complex is mediated by recognition of the NLS of the CDC5L component of the complex and show that CTNNBL1 also interacts with Prp31 (another U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP-associated splicing factor) through its NLS. As with karyopherin ?s, CTNNBL1 binds NLSs via its armadillo (ARM) domain, but displays a separate, more selective NLS binding specificity. Furthermore, the CTNNBL1/AID interaction depends on amino acids forming the AID conformational NLS with CTNNBL1-deficient cells showing a partial defect in AID nuclear accumulation. However, in further contrast to karyopherin ?s, the CTNNBL1 N-terminal region itself binds karyopherin ?s (rather than karyopherin ?), suggesting a function divergent from canonical nuclear transport. Thus, CTNNBL1 is a novel NLS-binding protein, distinct from karyopherin ?s, with the results suggesting a possible role in the selective intranuclear targeting or interactions of some splicing-associated complexes.
Project description:Karyopherin-?2 or Transportin-1 binds proline-tyrosine nuclear localization signals (PY-NLSs) in its cargos. PY-NLSs are described by structural disorder, overall positive charge, and binding epitopes composed of an N-terminal hydrophobic or basic motif and a C-terminal R-X2-5P-Y motif. The N-terminal tail of histone H3 binds Kap?2 with high affinity but does not contain a recognizable PY-NLS. The crystal structure of the Kap?2-H3 tail shows residues 11-27 of H3 binding to the PY-NLS site of Kap?2. H3 residues 11TGGKAPRK18 bind the site for PY-NLS Epitope 1 (N-terminal hydrophobic/basic motif), which is most important for Kap?2-binding. H3 residue Arg26 occupies the PY-NLS Epitope 2 position (usually arginine of R-X2-5P-Y) but PY-NLS Epitope 3 (proline-tyrosine motif) is missing in the H3 tail. Histone H3 thus provides an example of a PY-NLS variant with no proline-tyrosine or homologous proline-hydrophobic motif. The H3 tail uses a very strong Epitope 1 to compensate for loss of the often-conserved proline-tyrosine epitope.
Project description:Transportin-1 (Trn1), also known as karyopherin-?2 (Kap?2), is probably the best-characterized nuclear import receptor of the karyopherin-? family after Importin-?, but certain aspects of its functions in cells are still puzzling or are just recently emerging. Since the initial identification of Trn1 as the nuclear import receptor of hnRNP A1 ?25 years ago, several molecular and structural studies have unveiled and refined our understanding of Trn1-mediated nuclear import. In particular, the understanding at a molecular level of the NLS recognition by Trn1 made a decisive step forward with the identification of a new class of NLSs called PY-NLSs, which constitute the best-characterized substrates of Trn1. Besides PY-NLSs, many Trn1 cargoes harbour NLSs that do not resemble the archetypical PY-NLS, which complicates the global understanding of cargo recognition by Trn1. Although PY-NLS recognition is well established and supported by several structures, the recognition of non-PY-NLSs by Trn1 is far less understood, but recent reports have started to shed light on the recognition of this type of NLSs. Aside from its principal and long-established activity as a nuclear import receptor, Trn1 was shown more recently to moonlight outside nuclear import. Trn1 has for instance been caught in participating in virus uncoating, ciliary transport and in modulating the phase separation properties of aggregation-prone proteins. Here, we focus on the structural and functional aspects of Trn1-mediated nuclear import, as well as on the moonlighting activities of Trn1.
Project description:Proteins in the karyopherin-? family mediate the majority of macromolecular transport between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. Eleven of the 19 known human karyopherin-?s and 10 of the 14S. cerevisiae karyopherin-?s mediate nuclear import through recognition of nuclear localization signals or NLSs in their cargos. This receptor-mediated process is essential to cellular viability as proteins are translated in the cytoplasm but many have functional roles in the nucleus. Many known karyopherin-?-cargo interactions were discovered through studies of the individual cargos rather than the karyopherins, and this information is thus widely scattered in the literature. We consolidate information about cargos that are directly recognized by import-karyopherin-?s and review common characteristics or lack thereof among cargos of different import pathways. Knowledge of karyopherin-?-cargo interactions is also critical for the development of nuclear import inhibitors and the understanding of their mechanisms of inhibition. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Regulation of Signaling and Cellular Fate through Modulation of Nuclear Protein Import.
Project description:Karyopherin-dependent molecular transport through the nuclear pore complex is maintained by constant recycling pathways of karyopherins coupled with the Ran-dependent cargo catch-and-release mechanism. Although many studies have revealed the bidirectional dynamics of karyopherins, the entire kinetics of the steady-state dynamics of karyopherin and cargo is still not fully understood. In this study, we used fluorescence recovery after photobleaching and fluorescence loss in photobleaching on live cells to provide convincing in vivo proof that karyopherin-mediated nucleocytoplasmic transport of cargoes is bidirectional. Continuous photobleaching of the cytoplasm of live cells expressing NLS cargoes led to progressive decrease of nuclear fluorescence signals. In addition, experimentally obtained kinetic parameters of karyopherin complexes were used to establish a kinetic model to explain the entire cargo import and export transport cycles facilitated by importin ?. The results strongly indicate that constant shuttling of karyopherins, either free or bound to cargo, ensures proper balancing of nucleocytoplasmic distribution of cargoes and establishes effective regulation of cargo dynamics by RanGTP.
Project description:Kap123, a major karyopherin protein of budding yeast, recognizes the nuclear localization signals (NLSs) of cytoplasmic histones H3 and H4 and translocates them into the nucleus during DNA replication. Mechanistic questions include H3- and H4-NLS redundancy toward Kap123 and the role of the conserved diacetylation of cytoplasmic H4 (K5ac and K12ac) in Kap123-mediated histone nuclear translocation. Here, we report crystal structures of full-length Kluyveromyces lactis Kap123 alone and in complex with H3- and H4-NLSs. Structures reveal the unique feature of Kap123 that possesses two discrete lysine-binding pockets for NLS recognition. Structural comparison illustrates that H3- and H4-NLSs share at least one of two lysine-binding pockets, suggesting that H3- and H4-NLSs are mutually exclusive. Additionally, acetylation of key lysine residues at NLS, particularly H4-NLS diacetylation, weakens the interaction with Kap123. These data support that cytoplasmic histone H4 diacetylation weakens the Kap123-H4-NLS interaction thereby facilitating histone Kap123-H3-dependent H3:H4/Asf1 complex nuclear translocation.
Project description:Methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) is a nuclear protein with important roles in regulating chromatin structure and gene expression, and mutations in MECP2 cause Rett syndrome (RTT). Within the MeCP2 protein sequence, the nuclear localization signal (NLS) is reported to reside between amino acids 255-271, and certain RTT-causing mutations overlap with the MeCP2 NLS, suggesting that they may alter nuclear localization. One such mutation, R270X, is predicted to interfere with the localization of MeCP2, but recent in vivo studies have demonstrated that this mutant remains entirely nuclear. To clarify the mechanism of MeCP2 nuclear import, we isolated proteins that interact with the NLS and identified karyopherin ? 3 (KPNA3 or Kap-?3) and karyopherin ? 4 (KPNA4 or Kap-?4) as key binding partners of MeCP2. MeCP2-R270X did not interact with KPNA4, consistent with a requirement for an intact NLS in this interaction. However, this mutant retains binding to KPNA3, accounting for the normal localization of MeCP2-R270X to the nucleus. These data provide a mechanism for MeCP2 nuclear import and have implications for the design of therapeutics aimed at modulating the function of MeCP2 in RTT patients.