A cytosolic activity distinct from Crm1 mediates nuclear export of protein kinase inhibitor in permeabilized cells

James M. Holaska, Bryce M. Paschal

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The leucine-rich nuclear export signal (NES) is used by a variety of proteins to facilitate their delivery from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. One of the best-studied examples, protein kinase inhibitor (PKI), binds to the catalytic subunit of protein kinase A in the nucleus and mediates its rapid export to the cytoplasm. We developed a permeabilized cell assay that reconstitutes nuclear export mediated by PKI, and we used it to characterize the cytosolic factors required for this process. The two-step assay involves an import phase and an export phase, and quantitation is achieved by digital fluorescence microscopy. During the import phase, a fluorescent derivative of streptavidin is imported into the nuclei of digitonin-permeabilized HeLa cells. During the export phase, biotinylated PKI diffuses into the nucleus, binds to fluorescent streptavidin, and mediates export of the complex to the cytoplasm. Nuclear export of the PKI complex is cytosol dependent and can be stimulated by addition of the purified NES receptor, Crm1. HeLa cell cytosol treated with Nethylmaleimide (NEM) or phenyl-Sepharose to inactivate or deplete Crm1, respectively, is still fully active in the PKI export assay. Significantly, the export activity can be depleted from cytosol by preadsorption with a protein conjugate that contains a functional NES. These data indicate that cytosol contains an export activity that is distinct from Crm1 and is likely to correspond to an NES receptor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14739-14744
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number25
StatePublished - Dec 8 1998


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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