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EMBO J. 1996 Jun 17;15(12):2935-43.

Myristoylated and non-myristoylated forms of the pH sensor protein hisactophilin II: intracellular shuttling to plasma membrane and nucleus monitored in real time by a fusion with green fluorescent protein.

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Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie, Germany.


Hisactophilins are myristoylated proteins that are rich in histidine residues and known to exist in Dictyostelium cells in a plasma membrane-bound and a soluble cytoplasmic state. Intracellular translocation of these proteins in response to pH changes was monitored using hisactophilin fusions with green fluorescent protein (GFP) and confocal laser scanning microscopy. Both the normal and a mutated non-myristoylated fusion protein shuffled within the cells in a pH-dependent manner. After lowering the pH, these proteins translocated within minutes between the cytoplasm, the plasma membrane and the nucleus. The role of histidine clusters on the surface of hisactophilin molecules in binding of the proteins to the plasma membrane and in their transfer to the nucleus is discussed on the basis of a pH switch mechanism.

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