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Int J Cell Biol. 2012;2012:494902. doi: 10.1155/2012/494902. Epub 2011 Dec 20.

Nucleocytoplasmic shuttling of cytoskeletal proteins: molecular mechanism and biological significance.

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Graduate School of Biostudies, Kyoto University, Yoshida Konoe-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan.


Various nuclear functional complexes contain cytoskeletal proteins as regulatory subunits; for example, nuclear actin participates in transcriptional complexes, and actin-related proteins are integral to chromatin remodeling complexes. Nuclear complexes such as these are involved in both basal and adaptive nuclear functions. In addition to nuclear import via classical nuclear transport pathways or passive diffusion, some large cytoskeletal proteins spontaneously migrate into the nucleus in a karyopherin-independent manner. The balance of nucleocytoplasmic distribution of such proteins can be altered by several factors, such as import versus export, or capture and release by complexes. The resulting accumulation or depletion of the nuclear populations thereby enhances or attenuates their nuclear functions. We propose that such molecular dynamics constitute a form of cytoskeleton-modulated regulation of nuclear functions which is mediated by the translocation of cytoskeletal components in and out of the nucleus.

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