Nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling of C-ABL tyrosine kinase

Salme Taagepera, David Mcdonald, Jonathan E. Loeb, Laura L. Whitaker, Anita K. Mcelroy, Jean Y J Wang, Thomas J. Hope

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262 Scopus citations


The ubiquitously expressed nonreceptor tyrosine kinase c-Abl contains three nuclear localization signals, however, it is found in both the nucleus and the cytoplasm of proliferating fibroblasts. A rapid and transient loss of c-Abl from the nucleus is observed upon the initial adhesion of fibroblasts onto a fibronectin matrix, suggesting the possibility of nuclear export [Lewis, J., Baskaran, R., Taagepera, S., Schwartz, M. and Wang, J. (1996) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 93, 15174-15179]. Here we show that the C terminus of c-Ab1 does indeed contain a functional nuclear export signal (NES) with the characteristic leucine-rich motif. The c-Abl NES can functionally complement an NES-defective HIV Rev protein (RevΔ3NI) and can mediate the nuclear export of glutathione-S-transferase. The c-Abl NES function is sensitive to the nuclear export inhibitor leptomycin B. Mutation of a single leucine (L1064A) in the c-Abl NES abrogates export function. The NES-mutated c-Abl, termed c-Abl NES(-), is localized exclusively to the nucleus. Treatment of cells with leptomycin B also leads to the nuclear accumulation of wild-type c-Abl protein. The c-Abl NES(-) is not lost from the nucleus when detached fibroblasts are replated onto fibronectin matrix. Taken together, these results demonstrate that c-Abl shuttles continuously between the nucleus and the cytoplasm and that the rate of nuclear import and export can be modulated by the adherence status of fibroblastic cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7457-7462
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jun 23 1998


  • Adhesion
  • Integrins
  • Nuclear export signal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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