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Mol Cell Biol. 2001 Feb;21(4):1384-92.

E2F4 is exported from the nucleus in a CRM1-dependent manner.

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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


E2F is a family of transcription factors required for normal cell cycle control and for cell cycle arrest in G1. E2F4 is the most abundant E2F protein in many cell types. In quiescent cells, it is localized to the nucleus, where it is bound to the retinoblastoma-related protein p130. During entry into the cell cycle, the protein disappears from the nucleus and appears in the cytoplasm. The mechanism by which this change occurs has, in the past, been unclear. We have found that E2F4 is actively exported from the nucleus and that leptomycin B, a specific inhibitor of nuclear export, inhibits this process. E2F4 export is mediated by two hydrophobic export sequences, mutations in either of which result in export failure. Individual export mutants of E2F4, but not a mutant with inactivation of both export signals, can be efficiently excluded from the nucleus by forced coexpression of the nuclear export receptor CRM1. Similarly, CRM1 overexpression can prevent cell cycle arrest induced by the cyclin kinase inhibitor p16(INK4a), an E2F4-dependent process. Taken together, these data suggest that nuclear export contributes to the regulation of E2F4 function, including its ability to regulate exit from G1 in association with a suitable pocket protein.

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