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Mol Cell. 1998 Feb;1(3):359-69.

Identification of a tRNA-specific nuclear export receptor.

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Zentrum für Molekulare Biologie, Universität Heidelberg, Federal Republic of Germany.


In eukaryotes, tRNAs are synthesized in the nucleus and after several maturation steps exported to the cytoplasm. Here, we identify exportin-t as a specific mediator of tRNA export. It is a RanGTP-binding, importin beta-related factor with predominantly nuclear localization. It shuttles rapidly between nucleus and cytoplasm and interacts with nuclear pore complexes. Exportin-t binds tRNA directly and with high affinity. Its cellular concentration in Xenopus oocytes was found to be rate-limiting for export of all tRNAs tested, as judged by microinjection experiments. RanGTP regulates the substrate-exportin-t interaction such that tRNA can be preferentially bound in the nucleus and released in the cytoplasm.

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