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J Biol Chem. 2004 Nov 12;279(46):47473-9. Epub 2004 Sep 10.

Alternative splicing of Staufen2 creates the nuclear export signal for CRM1 (Exportin 1).

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Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, Suita, Japan.


Mammalian Staufen2 (Stau2), a brain-specific double-stranded RNA-binding protein, is involved in the localization of mRNA in neurons. To gain insights into the function of Stau2, the subcellular localization of Stau2 isoforms fused to the green fluorescence protein was examined. Fluorescence microscopic analysis showed that Stau2 functions as a nucleocytoplasmic shuttle protein. The nuclear export of the 62-kDa isoform of Stau2 (Stau2(62)) is mediated by the double-stranded RNA-binding domain 3 (RBD3) because a mutation to RBD3 led to nuclear accumulation. On the other hand, the shorter isoform of Stau2, Stau2(59), is exported from the nucleus by two distinct pathways, one of which is RBD3-mediated and the other of which is CRM1 (exportin 1)-dependent. The nuclear export signal recognized by CRM1 was found to be located in the N-terminal region of Stau2(59). These results suggest that Stau2 may carry a variety of RNAs out of the nucleus, using the two export pathways. The present study addresses the issue of why plural Stau2 isoforms are expressed in neurons.

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