Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.284, No.1, 185-193, 2001
Novel properties of the nucleolar targeting signal of human angiogenin
The polypeptide ligand angiogenin, a potent inducer of angiogenesis, localizes in the nucleus/nucleolus subsequent to endocytosis by relevant cell types. This study examines the kinetic properties of the nucleolar targeting signal (NTS) of angiogenin (IIMRRRGL(35)) at the single cell level. We show that the NTS is sufficient to target green fluorescent protein (GFP), but not beta -galactosidase, to the nucleolus of rat hepatoma cells. Mutation of Arg(33) to Ala within the NTS abolishes targeting activity, Nuclear/nucleolar import conferred by the NTS of angiogenin is reduced by cytosolic factors as well as ATP and is independent of importins and Ran, The NTS also confers the ability to bind to nuclear/nucleolar components which is inhibited by ATP hydrolysis; nonhydrolysable G;TP analogs prevent nuclear accumulation in the absence of an intact nuclear envelope through an apparent cytoplasmic retention mechanism. Since the lectin wheat germ agglutinin does not inhibit transport, we postulate a mechanism for angiogenin nuclear/nucleolar import involving passive diffusion of angiogenin through the nuclear pore and NTS-nmediated nuclear/nucleolar retention, and with cytoplasmic retention modulating the process. This pathway is clearly distinct from that of conventional signal-mediated nuclear protein import.