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Mol Cell Biol. 2007 Jun;27(12):4431-43. Epub 2007 Apr 9.

Characterization of mammalian Par 6 as a dual-location protein.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, The James A Clark Center, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5430, USA.


Par 6 acts as a scaffold protein to facilitate atypical protein kinase C-mediated phosphorylation of cytoplasmic protein complexes, leading to epithelial and neuronal cell polarization. In addition to its location in the cytoplasm, Par 6 is localized to the nucleus. However, its organization and potential functions in the nucleus have not been examined. Using an affinity-purified Par 6 antibody and a chimera of Par 6 and green fluorescent protein, we show that Par 6 localizes precisely to nuclear speckles, but not to other nuclear structures, and displays characteristics of speckle proteins. We show that Par 6 colocalizes in the nucleus with Tax, a transcriptional activator of the human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 long terminal repeat, but multiple lines of evidence show that Par 6 is not directly involved in known functions of speckle proteins, including general transcription, splicing, or mRNA transport. Significantly, however, the structure of nuclear speckles is lost when Par 6 levels are reduced by Par 6-specific small interfering RNA. Therefore, we hypothesize that Par 6 in the nucleus acts as a scaffolding protein in nuclear speckle complexes, similar to its role in the cytoplasm.

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