Nuclear-cytoplasmatic shuttling of proteins in control of cellular oxygen sensing

Reinhard Depping*, Wolfgang Jelkmann, Friederike Katharina Kosyna

*Korrespondierende/r Autor/-in für diese Arbeit
23 Zitate (Scopus)


In order to pass through the nuclear pore complex, proteins larger than ∼40 kDa require specific nuclear transport receptors. Defects in nuclear-cytoplasmatic transport affect fundamental processes such as development, inflammation and oxygen sensing. The transcriptional response to O2 deficiency is controlled by hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs). These are heterodimeric transcription factors of each ∼100–120 kDa proteins, consisting of one out of three different O2-labile α subunits (primarily HIF-1α) and a more constitutive 1β subunit. In the presence of O2, the α subunits are hydroxylated by specific prolyl-4-hydroxylase domain proteins (PHD1, PHD2, and PHD3) and an asparaginyl hydroxylase (factor inhibiting HIF-1, FIH-1). The prolyl hydroxylation causes recognition by von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor protein (pVHL), ubiquitination, and proteasomal degradation. The activity of the oxygen sensing machinery depends on dynamic intracellular trafficking. Nuclear import of HIF-1α and HIF-1β is mainly mediated by importins α and β (α/β). HIF-1α can shuttle between nucleus and cytoplasm, while HIF-1β is permanently inside the nucleus. pVHL is localized to both compartments. Nuclear import of PHD1 relies on a nuclear localization signal (NLS) and uses the classical import pathway involving importin α/β receptors. PHD2 shows an atypical NLS, and its nuclear import does not occur via the classical pathway. PHD2-mediated hydroxylation of HIF-1α occurs predominantly in the cell nucleus. Nuclear export of PHD2 involves a nuclear export signal (NES) in the N-terminus and depends on the export receptor chromosome region maintenance 1 (CRM1). Nuclear import of PHD3 is mediated by importin α/β receptors and depends on a non-classical NLS. Specific modification of the nuclear translocation of the three PHD isoforms could provide a promising strategy for the development of new therapeutic substances to tackle major diseases.

ZeitschriftJournal of Molecular Medicine
Seiten (von - bis)599-608
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 16.06.2015

Strategische Forschungsbereiche und Zentren

  • Forschungsschwerpunkt: Gehirn, Hormone, Verhalten - Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


Untersuchen Sie die Forschungsthemen von „Nuclear-cytoplasmatic shuttling of proteins in control of cellular oxygen sensing“. Zusammen bilden sie einen einzigartigen Fingerprint.