RAE1 is a shuttling mRNA export factor that binds to a GLEBS-like NUP98 motif at the nuclear pore complex through multiple domains

Colin E.J. Pritchard, Maarten Fornerod, Lawryn H. Kasper, Jan M.A. Van Deursen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

175 Scopus citations


Gle2p is implicated in nuclear export of poly(A)+ RNA and nuclear pore complex (NPC) structure and distribution in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Gle2p is anchored at the nuclear envelope (NE) via a short Gle2p-binding motif within Nup116p called GLEBS. The molecular mechanism by which Gle2p and the Gle2p-Nup116p interaction function in mRNA export is unknown. Here we show that RAE1, the mammalian homologue of Gle2p, binds to a GLEBS-like NUP98 motif at the NPC through multiple domains that include WD-repeats and a COOH- terminal non-WD-repeat extension. This interaction is direct, as evidenced by in vitro binding studies and chemical cross-linking. Microinjection experiments performed in Xenopus laevis oocytes demonstrate that RAE1 shuttles between the nucleus and the cytoplasm and is exported from the nucleus in a temperature-dependent and RanGTP-independent manner. Docking of RAE1 to the NE is highly dependent on new mRNA synthesis. Overexpression of the GLEBS-like motif also inhibits NE binding of RAE1 and induces nuclear accumulation of poly(A)+ RNA. Both effects are abrogated either by the introduction of point mutations in the GLEBS-like motif or by overexpression of RAE1, indicating a direct role for RAE1 and the NUP98-RAE1 interaction in mRNA export. Together, our data suggest that RAE1 is a shuttling transport factor that directly contributes to nuclear export of mRNAs through its ability to anchor to a specific NUP98 motif at the NPC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-253
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2000



  • NUP98
  • Nuclear pore complex
  • RAE1
  • RNA polymerase II
  • mRNA export

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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