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Mol Biol Cell. 2010 Feb 15;21(4):639-49. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E09-07-0551. Epub 2009 Dec 23.

Regulation of tRNA bidirectional nuclear-cytoplasmic trafficking in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics, Graduate Program in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Center for RNA Biology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA


tRNAs in yeast and vertebrate cells move bidirectionally and reversibly between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. We investigated roles of members of the beta-importin family in tRNA subcellular dynamics. Retrograde import of tRNA into the nucleus is dependent, directly or indirectly, upon Mtr10. tRNA nuclear export utilizes at least two members of the beta-importin family. The beta-importins involved in nuclear export have shared and exclusive functions. Los1 functions in both the tRNA primary export and the tRNA reexport processes. Msn5 is unable to export tRNAs in the primary round of export if the tRNAs are encoded by intron-containing genes, and for these tRNAs Msn5 functions primarily in their reexport to the cytoplasm. The data support a model in which tRNA retrograde import to the nucleus is a constitutive process; in contrast, reexport of the imported tRNAs back to the cytoplasm is regulated by the availability of nutrients to cells and by tRNA aminoacylation in the nucleus. Finally, we implicate Tef1, the yeast orthologue of translation elongation factor eEF1A, in the tRNA reexport process and show that its subcellular distribution between the nucleus and cytoplasm is dependent upon Mtr10 and Msn5.

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