Send to

Choose Destination
J Biol Chem. 2002 Jun 28;277(26):23358-66. Epub 2002 Apr 22.

Characterization of the nuclear import and export functions of Ikappa B(epsilon).

Author information

Biochemistry Department University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65212, USA.


Control over the nuclear localization of nuclear factor kappaB/Rel proteins is accomplished in large part through association with members of the inhibitor of kappaB (IkappaB) protein family. For example, the well studied IkappaBalpha protein actively shuttles between the nucleus and the cytoplasm and both inhibits nuclear import and mediates nuclear export of NF-kappaB/Rel proteins. In contrast, the IkappaBbeta protein can inhibit nuclear import of NF-kappaB/Rel proteins but does not remove NF-kappaB/Rel proteins from the nucleus. To further understand how the IkappaB proteins control the nuclear-cytoplasmic distribution of NF-kappaB/Rel proteins, we have characterized the nuclear import and nuclear export functions of IkappaBepsilon. Our results indicate that the IkappaBepsilon protein, like the IkappaBalpha protein, actively shuttles between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. Similar to IkappaBalpha, nuclear import of IkappaBepsilon is mediated by its ankyrin repeat domain and is not blocked by the dominant-negative RanQ69L protein. However, the nuclear import function of the IkappaBepsilon ankyrin repeat domain is markedly less efficient than that of IkappaBalpha, with the result that nuclear shuttling of IkappaBepsilon between the nucleus and the cytoplasm is significantly slower than IkappaBalpha. Nuclear export of IkappaBepsilon is mediated by a short leucine-rich nuclear export sequence (NES)-like sequence ((343)VLLPFDDLKI(352)), located between amino acids 343 and 352. This NES-like sequence is required for RanGTP-dependent binding of IkappaBepsilon to CRM1. Nuclear accumulation of IkappaB(epsilon) is increased by either leptomycin B treatment or alanine substitutions within the IkappaBepsilon-derived NES. A functional NES is required for both efficient cytoplasmic retention and post-induction control of c-Rel by IkappaBepsilon, consistent with the notion that IkappaBepsilon-mediated nuclear export contributes to control over the nucleocytoplasmic distribution of NF-kappaB/Rel proteins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center