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EMBO J. 2000 Oct 16;19(20):5502-13.

Importin-11, a nuclear import receptor for the ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme, UbcM2.

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  • 1Center for Cell Signaling, Box 800577, HSC and Department of Pharmacology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.


Importins are members of a family of transport receptors (karyopherins) that mediate the nucleocytoplasmic transport of protein and RNA cargoes. We identified importin-11 as a potential new human member of this family, on the basis of limited similarity to the Saccharomyces cerevisiae protein, Lph2p, and cloned the complete open reading frame. Importin-11 interacts with the Ran GTPase, and constitutively shuttles between the nuclear and cytoplasmic compartments. A yeast dihybrid screen identified UbcM2, an E2-type ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme, as a binding partner and potential transport cargo for importin-11. Importin-11 and UbcM2 interact directly, and the complex is disassembled by Ran:GTP but not by Ran:GDP. UbcM2 is constitutively nuclear and shuttles between the nuclear and cytoplasmic compartments. Nuclear import of UbcM2 requires Ran and importin-11, and is inhibited by wheatgerm agglutinin, energy depletion or dominant interfering mutants of Ran and importin-beta. These data establish importin-11 as a new member of the karyopherin family of transport receptors, and identify UbcM2 as a nuclear member of the E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme family.

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