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Cell Res. 2010 Aug;20(8):948-62. doi: 10.1038/cr.2010.89. Epub 2010 Jun 22.

Pericentrin contains five NESs and an NLS essential for its nucleocytoplasmic trafficking during the cell cycle.

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Peking University, Beijing, China.


Pericentrin, a conserved centrosomal component, provides the structural scaffold to anchor numerous centrosomal proteins, and thus plays an essential role in the organization and function of the centrosome and the mitotic spindle. Although pericentrin was shown to localize in the cytoplasm and reported to be sensitive to leptomycin B (LMB), a specific inhibitor of Crm1, the regions within pericentrin that serve as signals for transporting in and out of the nucleus have not yet been identified. In this study, we identified five novel nuclear export signals (NESs) in pericentrin with diverse export activities. All of the five NESs could bind to Crm1 in a LMB-sensitive way when mediating the nuclear export of pericentrin. We also demonstrated that the region of amino acids 8-42 in pericentrin contains a tripartite nuclear localization signal (NLS) consisting of three clusters of basic amino acids. The NLS of pericentrin binds to importin beta directly or via the adaptor importin alpha to form the import complex, which could be disrupted by RanQ69L, a dominant-negative Ran GTPase possessing high affinity for importin beta. Furthermore, we found that mutation of the NESs in full-length pericentrin results in both nuclear and cytoplasmic localization, and mutation of the NLS abolishes the nuclear import of pericentrin. On the basis of these results, we suggest that the NESs and NLS of pericentrin are essential for its subcellular localization and nucleocytoplasmic trafficking during the cell cycle.

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