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J Cell Biochem. 2000 Aug 2;79(2):225-38.

Nuclear import and DNA binding of human papillomavirus type 45 L1 capsid protein.

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Laboratory of Cell Biology, Biology Department, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts 02467, USA.


During the life cycle of human papillomaviruses (HPVs), the L1 capsid proteins seem to enter the nucleus twice: once after the virions infect the cells, and later during the productive phase when they assemble the replicated HPV genomic DNA into infectious virions. We established for the high-risk HPV45 that when digitonin-permeabilized HeLa cells were incubated with L1 homopentameric capsomers, the HPV45 L1 protein was imported into the nucleus in a receptor-mediated manner. In contrast, intact capsids were not able to enter the nucleus. Immunoisolation assays showed that HPV45 L1 capsomers interact with cytosolic karyopherin alpha 2 beta 1 heterodimers. HPV45 L1 bound strongly to karyopherin alpha 2, and weakly to karyopherin beta 1, as did its nuclear localization signal (NLS). Nuclear import of HPV45 L1, or of a GST-NLS(HPV45L1) fusion protein was efficiently mediated by karyopherin alpha 2 beta 1 heterodimers, and only weakly by karyopherin beta 1. Nuclear import required RanGDP, but was independent of GTP hydrolysis by Ran. Together, these data suggest that the major nuclear import pathway for HPV45 L1 major capsid protein in infected host cells is mediated by karyopherin alpha 2 beta 1 heterodimers and that GTP hydrolysis by Ran is not required for import. Remarkably, HPV45 L1 capsomers can interact nonspecifically with different types of HPV-DNA, and the DNA binding region of HPV45 L1 overlaps with its NLS sequence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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