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J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2003 Oct;35(10):1191-5.

TBX5 nuclear localization is mediated by dual cooperative intramolecular signals.

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Department of Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, 525 E 68th Street, New York, NY 10021, USA.


The TBX5 transcription factor is required for normal cardiogenesis, and human TBX5 mutations cause congenital heart defects. Previous studies have shown that TBX5 can localize to cellular nuclei during embryogenesis and have suggested that altered nuclear localization may contribute to disease pathogenesis. Current analyses suggest that TBX5 nuclear localization is not uniform during organogenesis. To determine the biochemical mechanisms underlying TBX5 nuclear import, we performed site-directed mutagenesis of human TBX5. We identified two distinct nuclear localization signals in TBX5, one monopartite and one bipartite. While each is insufficient to promote complete TBX5 nuclear localization, they act cooperatively to do so. These sequences are evolutionarily conserved and have cognates in other T-box gene family members.

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