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J Biol Chem. 2012 Sep 28;287(40):33812-25. Epub 2012 Jul 30.

Nuclear-to-cytoplasmic relocalization of the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) during differentiation involves a chromosome region maintenance 1 (CRM1)-dependent export and is a prerequisite for PCNA antiapoptotic activity in mature neutrophils.

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INSERM U1016, 75014 Paris, France.


Neutrophils are deprived of proliferative capacity and have a tightly controlled lifespan to avoid their persistence at the site of injury. We have recently described that the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), a nuclear factor involved in DNA replication and repair of proliferating cells, is a key regulator of neutrophil survival. In neutrophils, PCNA was localized exclusively in the cytoplasm due to its nuclear-to-cytoplasmic relocalization during granulocytic differentiation. We showed here that leptomycin B, an inhibitor of the chromosome region maintenance 1 (CRM1) exportin, inhibited PCNA relocalization during granulocytic differentiation of HL-60 and NB4 promyelocytic cell lines and of human CD34(+) primary cells. Using enhanced green fluorescent protein fusion constructs, we have demonstrated that PCNA relocalization involved a nuclear export signal (NES) located from Ile-11 to Ile-23 in the PCNA sequence. However, this NES, located at the inner face of the PCNA trimer, was not functional in wild-type PCNA, but instead, was fully active and leptomycin B-sensitive in the monomeric PCNAY114A mutant. To test whether a defect in PCNA cytoplasmic relocalization would affect its antiapoptotic activity in mature neutrophils, a chimeric PCNA fused with the SV40 nuclear localization sequence (NLS) was generated to preclude its cytoplasmic localization. As expected, neutrophil-differentiated PLB985 cells expressing ectopic SV40NLS-PCNA had an increased nuclear PCNA as compared with cells expressing wild-type PCNA. Accordingly, the nuclear PCNA mutant did not show any antiapoptotic activity as compared with wild-type PCNA. Nuclear-to-cytoplasmic relocalization that occurred during myeloid differentiation is essential for PCNA antiapoptotic activity in mature neutrophils and is dependent on the newly identified monomerization-dependent PCNA NES.

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