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J Cell Sci. 1997 Feb;110 ( Pt 3):369-78.

Nuclear localization of I kappa B alpha promotes active transport of NF-kappa B from the nucleus to the cytoplasm.

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Unité d'Immunologie Virale, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


I kappa B alpha tightly regulates the transcriptional activity of NF-kappa B by retaining it in the cytoplasm in an inactive form. In the present work, we report that I kappa B alpha, when expressed in the nuclear compartment, not only abrogates NF-kappa B/DNA interactions and NF-kappa B-dependent transcription, but also transports NF-kappa B back to the cytoplasm. This function of I kappa B alpha is insured by a nuclear export sequence located in the C-terminal domain of I kappa B alpha and homologous to the previously described export signal found in HIV-1 Rev protein as well as in PKI (the inhibitor of the catalytic subunit of protein kinase A). Thus, inhibition of NF-kappa B/DNA binding and the consecutive efficient nuclear export of the transcription factor of I kappa B alpha could represent an important mechanism for the control of the expression of NF-kappa B-dependent genes.

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