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J Biol Chem. 2009 Jul 31;284(31):20548-55. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.013730. Epub 2009 Jun 12.

Nuclear export of the yeast hexokinase 2 protein requires the Xpo1 (Crm1)-dependent pathway.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Oviedo, 33006 Oviedo, Spain.


Hexokinase 2 (Hxk2) from Saccharomyces cerevisiae was one of the first metabolic enzymes described as a multifunctional protein. Hxk2 has a double subcellular localization; it functions as a glycolytic enzyme in the cytoplasm and as a regulator of gene transcription of several Mig1-regulated genes in the nucleus. However, the mechanism by which Hxk2 enters and leaves the nucleus is still unknown. In low glucose conditions, Hxk2 is phosphorylated at serine 14, but how this phosphorylation may affect glucose signaling is also unknown at the moment. Here we report that the Hxk2 protein is an export substrate of the carrier protein Xpo1 (Crm1). We also show that the Hxk2 nuclear export and the binding of Hxk2 and Xpo1 involve two leucine-rich nuclear export signals (NES) located between leucine 23 and isoleucine 33 (NES1) and between leucine 310 and leucine 318 (NES2). We also show that the Hxk2 phosphorylation at serine 14 promotes Hxk2 export by facilitating the association of Hxk2 with Xpo1. Our study uncovers a new cargo for the Xpo1 yeast exportin and identifies Hxk2 phosphorylation at serine 14 as a regulatory mechanism that controls its nuclear exit in function of the glucose levels.

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