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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 1999 May;63(5):917-23.

Two isoforms of a human actin-related protein show nuclear localization and mutually selective expression between brain and other tissues.

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Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan.


Actin-related proteins (Arps), which are divergent, but apparently homologues to actin, are categorized into 10 classes. While Arps belonging to classes 1-3 were found to be localized in the cytoplasm across eukaryotic phyla, other classes of Arps were found mostly in invertebrates and suggested to contribute to structural modulation of chromatin. Here we report the identification and the characterization of two human isoforms of an Arp not belonging to classes 1-3, which we designated hArpN alpha and hArpN beta. Both proteins were expressed in HeLa cells and they were found localized within the nucleus. Most interestingly, in different human tissues, hArpN alpha and beta were found to be expressed mutually exclusively, and the expression of hArpN alpha was absolutely restricted to the brain. These findings suggest that, in vertebrates, members of distantly related Arps might have tissue-specific functions in the nucleus, possibly through structural modulation of chromatin.

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