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The identification of a functional nuclear localization signal in the Huntington disease protein

Authors
Journal
Molecular Brain Research
0169-328X
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
33
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0169-328x(95)00124-b
Keywords
  • Huntington Disease
  • Nuclear Localization
  • Immunofluorescent Microscopy
  • Reporter Gene Expression
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract Positional cloning has shown that the Huntington disease (HD) mutation is an expanded trinucleotide repeat in the IT15 gene. Although this mutation clearly produces the HD phenotype, the function of the Huntington disease protein remains undefined. One recent immunocytochemical study suggested that the IT15 protein preferentially localizes to the nucleus of affected neuronal cells. If this result is accurate, it could link the biochemical function of this protein to nuclear activities such as gene regulation. To examine the nuclear transport of the Huntington disease protein, we searched for basic peptide motifs that could produce nuclear localization. One peptide (RRKGKEK) was identified that is highly homologous to a consensus nuclear localization signal. When fused to the cytoplasmic reporter protein, β-galactosidase, nuclear localization was observed in stably transformed human cell lines. In a complementary study, an anti-peptide polyclonal antibody, raised against a sequence adjacent to the putative nuclear localization sequence, detected the IT15 protein in the nucleus of human cells. These results extend and confirm the previous localization studies and identify an IT15 peptide motif that can function for nuclear localization.

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