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J Biol Chem. 2001 Jul 13;276(28):26324-31. Epub 2001 May 7.

Nuclear import/export of hRPF1/Nedd4 regulates the ubiquitin-dependent degradation of its nuclear substrates.

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Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.


The ubiquitin-protein ligase (E3), hRPF1/Nedd4, is a component of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway responsible for substrate recognition and specificity. Although previously characterized as a regulator of the stability of cytoplasmic proteins, hRPF1/Nedd4 has also been suggested to have a role in the nucleus. However, in light of the cytoplasmic localization of hRPF1/Nedd4, it is unclear whether bona fide nuclear substrates of hRPF1/Nedd4 exist, and if so, what mechanism may allow a cytoplasmic ubiquitin ligase to manifest nuclear activity. Our search for nuclear substrates led to the identification of the human proline-rich transcript, brain-expressed (hPRTB) protein, the ubiquitination and degradation of which is regulated by hRPF1/Nedd4. Interestingly, hPRTB colocalizes with the splicing factor SC35 in nuclear speckles. Finally, we demonstrate that hRPF1/Nedd4 is indeed capable of entering the nucleus; however, the presence of a functional Rev-like nuclear export sequence in hRPF1/Nedd4 ensures a predominant cytoplasmic localization. Cumulatively, these findings highlight a nuclear role for the ubiquitin ligase hRPF1/Nedd4 and underscore cytoplasmic/nuclear localization as an important regulatory component of hRPF1/Nedd4-substrate recognition.

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