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The Nup358-RanGAP Complex Is Required for Efficient Importin α/β-dependent Nuclear Import

By Saskia Hutten, Annette Flotho, Frauke Melchior and Ralph H. Kehlenbach


In vertebrate cells, the nucleoporin Nup358/RanBP2 is a major component of the filaments that emanate from the nuclear pore complex into the cytoplasm. Nup358 forms a complex with SUMOylated RanGAP1, the GTPase activating protein for Ran. RanGAP1 plays a pivotal role in the establishment of a RanGTP gradient across the nuclear envelope and, hence, in the majority of nucleocytoplasmic transport pathways. Here, we investigate the roles of the Nup358-RanGAP1 complex and of soluble RanGAP1 in nuclear protein transport, combining in vivo and in vitro approaches. Depletion of Nup358 by RNA interference led to a clear reduction of importin α/β-dependent nuclear import of various reporter proteins. In vitro, transport could be partially restored by the addition of importin β, RanBP1, and/or RanGAP1 to the transport reaction. In intact Nup358-depleted cells, overexpression of importin β strongly stimulated nuclear import, demonstrating that the transport receptor is the most rate-limiting factor at reduced Nup358-concentrations. As an alternative approach, we used antibody-inhibition experiments. Antibodies against RanGAP1 inhibited the enzymatic activity of soluble and nuclear pore–associated RanGAP1, as well as nuclear import and export. Although export could be fully restored by soluble RanGAP, import was only partially rescued. Together, these data suggest a dual function of the Nup358-RanGAP1 complex as a coordinator of importin β recycling and reformation of novel import complexes

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Publisher: The American Society for Cell Biology
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