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J Biol Chem. 1996 Feb 2;271(5):2357-60.

Ran binding domains promote the interaction of Ran with p97/beta-karyopherin, linking the docking and translocation steps of nuclear import.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Vermont, Burlington 05405, USA.


Nuclear protein import is accomplished by two sequential events; docking at the nuclear pore complex followed by ATP-dependent translocation across the nuclear envelope. Docking of nuclear targeted proteins requires a 56-kDa nuclear localization signal receptor (alpha-karyopherin, importin-alpha, SRP1 alpha) and a 97-kDa protein (beta-karyopherin, importin-beta). Components necessary for translocation include the Ran/TC4 GTPase and NTF2/B-2. The functions of these factors at a molecular level remain unclear. We have now found that a complex of Ran, in the GTP-bound state, with either the Ran binding protein, RanBP1, or an isolated Ran binding domain binds with high affinity and specificity to beta-karyopherin to form a ternary complex. We find that a C-terminal truncation mutant of Ran, delta-DE Ran, also binds to beta-karyopherin and that delta-DE Ran can associate with a cytosolic, multiprotein complex that contains beta-karyopherin and another delta-DE Ran binding protein of 115/120 kDa. These data suggest a physical link between docking and translocation mediated by a Ran GTPase-Ran binding protein complex.

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