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Mol Cell Biol. 1989 Jun;9(6):2487-92.

Sequence requirements for synthetic peptide-mediated translocation to the nucleus.

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Central Research and Development Department, E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Wilmington, Delaware 19880-0328.


The abilities of 18 synthetic peptides to target a carrier protein to the nucleus following microinjection into the cytoplasm of HeLa cells were determined. Eight of the sequences chosen for synthesis were based on published nuclear targeting regions as determined by gene fusion and deletion experiments. Six of these sequences were found to be effective when mimicked by a synthetic peptide and conjugated to a carrier protein. One additional peptide was based on a region of lamin L1, a nuclear protein from Xenopus laevis, in which the nuclear targeting region had not been previously investigated. This peptide was also able to target a carrier protein to the nucleus. Eight other peptides which resemble the known targeting signals had little or no nuclear targeting ability. Peptides which were able to target a carrier protein to the nucleus did so within 45 min of injection into the cytoplasm. Two peptides with little or no apparent nuclear targeting ability after 45 min were examined for longer times as well. No increase in nuclear accumulation was observed between 45 min and 4 h after cytoplasmic injection. Comparison of the sequences which were effective at nuclear targeting with those that were not revealed a possible consensus sequence for peptide-mediated nuclear transport.

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