The protein Gle1 is required for export of mRNAs from the nucleus to the cytoplasm in both lower and higher eukaryotic cells. In human (h) cells, shuttling of hGle1 between the nucleus and cytoplasm is essential for bulk mRNA export. To date, no hGle1-interacting proteins have been reported and the mechanism by which hGle1 interacts with the nuclear pore complex (NPC) and mediates export is unknown. To identify proteins that can interact with hGle1, a genome-wide yeast two-hybrid screen was performed. Three potential hGle1-interacting partners were isolated, including clones encoding the C-terminal region of the NPC protein hNup155. This interaction between hGle1 and full-length hNup155 was confirmed in vitro, and deletion analysis identified the N-terminal 29 residues of hGle1 as the hNup155-binding domain. Experiments in HeLa cells confirmed that the nuclear rim localization of the major hGle1 protein variant (hGle1B) was dependent on the presence of these 29 N-terminal residues. This suggests that this domain of hGle1 is necessary for targeting to the NPC. This work also characterizes the first domain in hNup155, a 177 C-terminal amino acid span that binds to hGle1. The mutual interaction between hGle1 and the symmetrically distributed nuclear pore protein Nup155 suggests a model in which hGle1's association with hNup155 may represent a step in the Gle1-mediated mRNA export pathway.
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