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Bioessays. 2005 Feb;27(2):144-52.

Spectrin repeat proteins in the nucleus.

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Ottawa Health Research Institute, Ontario K1H 8L6, Canada.


Spectrin repeat sequences are among the more common repeat elements identified in proteins, typically occurring in large structural proteins. Examples of spectrin repeat-containing proteins include dystrophin, alpha-actinin and spectrin itself--all proteins with well-demonstrated roles of establishing and maintaining cell structure. Over the past decade, it has become clear that, although these proteins display a cytoplasmic and plasma membrane distribution, several are also found both at the nuclear envelope, and within the intranuclear space. In this review, we provide an overview of recent work regarding various spectrin repeat-containing structural proteins in the nucleus. As well, we hypothesize about the regulation of their nuclear localization and possible nuclear functions based on domain architecture, known interacting proteins and evolutionary relationships. Given their large size, and their potential for interacting with multiple proteins and with chromatin, spectrin repeat-containing proteins represent strong candidates for important organizational proteins within the nucleus. Supplementary material for this article can be found on the BioEssays website (

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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