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Intersection of the Kap123p-Mediated Nuclear Import and Ribosome Export Pathways

  • Y. Sydorskyy
  • D. J. Dilworth
  • E. C. Yi
  • D. R. Goodlett
  • R. W. Wozniak
  • J. D. Aitchison
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2003
  • Biology
  • Design


Kap123p is a yeast β-karyopherin that imports ribosomal proteins into the nucleus prior to their assembly into preribosomal particles. Surprisingly, Kap123p is not essential for growth, under normal conditions. To further explore the role of Kap123p in nucleocytoplasmic transport and ribosome biogenesis, we performed a synthetic fitness screen designed to identify genes that interact with KAP123. Through this analysis we have identified three other karyopherins, Pse1p/Kap121p, Sxm1p/Kap108p, and Nmd5p/Kap119p. We propose that, in the absence of Kap123p, these karyopherins are able to supplant Kap123p's role in import. In addition to the karyopherins, we identified Rai1p, a protein previously implicated in rRNA processing. Rai1p is also not essential, but deletion of the RAI1 gene is deleterious to cell growth and causes defects in rRNA processing, which leads to an imbalance of the 60S/40S ratio and the accumulation of halfmers, 40S subunits assembled on polysomes that are unable to form functional ribosomes. Rai1p localizes predominantly to the nucleus, where it physically interacts with Rat1p and pre-60S ribosomal subunits. Analysis of the rai1/kap123 double mutant strain suggests that the observed genetic interaction results from an inability to efficiently export pre-60S subunits from the nucleus, which arises from a combination of compromised Kap123p-mediated nuclear import of the essential 60S ribosomal subunit export factor, Nmd3p, and a ΔRAI1-induced decrease in the overall biogenesis efficiency.

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