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Cell. 1994 Dec 2;79(5):767-78.

Isolation of a protein that is essential for the first step of nuclear protein import.

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Wellcome/CRC Institute, Cambridge, England.


We have purified a cytosolic protein from Xenopus eggs that is essential for selective protein import into the cell nucleus. The purified protein, named importin, promotes signal-dependent binding of karyophilic proteins to the nuclear envelope. We have cloned, sequenced, and expressed a corresponding cDNA. Importin shows 44% sequence identity with SRP1p, a protein associated with the yeast nuclear pore complex. Complete, signal-dependent import into HeLa nuclei can be reconstituted by combining importin purified from Xenopus eggs or expressed in E. coli with Ran/TC4. Evidence for additional stimulatory factors is provided.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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