Ribosomal protein L5 is a shuttling protein that, in Xenopus oocytes, is involved in the nucleocytoplasmic transport of 5S rRNA. As demonstrated earlier, L5 contains three independent nuclear import signals (NLSs), which function in oocytes as well as in somatic cells. Upon physical separation, these NLSs differ in respect to their capacity to bind to nuclear import factors in vitro and to mediate the nuclear import of a heterologous RNP in vivo. As reported in this communication, analysis of the in vitro nuclear import activity of these three NLSs reveals that they also differ in respect to their requirements for cytosolic import factors and Ran. Nuclear import mediated by the N-terminal and the central NLS depends on cytosolic import factor(s) and Ran, whereas import via the C-terminal NLS occurs independently from these factors. Thus, the presence of multiple NLSs in ribosomal protein L5 appears to allow for efficient nuclear transport via utilisation of multiple, mechanistically different import pathways.