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Genes Dev. 1996 May 15;10(10):1233-46.

A protein that shuttles between the nucleus and the cytoplasm is an important mediator of RNA export.

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  • 1Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


The connection between RNA and protein export from the nucleus was examined in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. NPL3 encodes an RNA-binding protein that shuttles in and out of the nucleus. Export of poly(A)+ RNA has been shown previously to be blocked in np13-1 mutants. To understand the role of Np13p in RNA export, we have developed a novel assay that effectively uncouples nuclear protein export from reimport. With this assay, we show that Np13p satisfies several of the predicted requirements for a protein carrier for mRNA export. Temperature-sensitive mutations in the RNA recognition motifs of Np13p result in nuclear accumulation of poly(A)+ RNA. One such mutation prevents nuclear export of Np13p. Moreover, Np13p export depends on ongoing RNA polymerase II transcription. Export ceases in either the presence of the RNA synthesis inhibitor thiolutin or in a temperature-sensitive RNA polymerase (rpb1) mutant. Together, these findings support a model in which Np13p exits the nucleus in association with poly(A)+ RNA, deposits the RNA in the cytoplasm, and is rapidly reimported for another cycle of export.

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