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General

The life cycle of eukaryotic cells is absolutely dependent on translocation of biologically functional proteins into the cell nucleus in which DNA replication and RNA biosynthesis occurs. Studies in animal and yeast cells suggest that nuclear import is initiated in the cytoplasm by a specific binding of a unique amino acid sequence, the nuclear localization signal (NLS), to a cytoplasmic receptor, importin α, which forms an heterodimer with the importin β subunit and directs the transported molecule to and through the nuclear pore complex (NPC). Recently, the crystal structure of an animal importin α-NLS complex was determined, revealing the structural and sequence requirements for the formation of an active import substrate. However, the mechanisms by which nuclear transport of importin α-NLS complexes is controlled during development of eukaryotic organisms are still obscure. Nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling of proteins and protein-nucleic acid complexes is an essential step in many host-pathogen interactions.

 

 

 

 

Classical nuclear import pathway

Research Projects:

  1. Viral DNA and protein translocation across nuclear envelopes of plant and animal cells

  1. Inhibition of nuclear transport of pathogenic kariophilic proteins

  1. Protein translocation through the cell plasma membrane

 

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