The Journal of biological chemistry

IkappaBalpha and IkappaBalpha /NF-kappa B complexes are retained in the cytoplasm through interaction with a novel partner, RasGAP SH3-binding protein 2.

PMID 10969074


IkappaBalpha inhibits the transcriptional activity of NF-kappaB both in the cytoplasm by preventing the nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB and in the nucleus where it dissociates NF-kappaB from DNA and transports it back to the cytoplasm. Cytoplasmic localization of inactive NF-kappaB/IkappaBalpha complexes is controlled by mutual masking of nuclear import sequences of NF-kappaB p65 and IkappaBalpha and active CRM1-mediated nuclear export. Here, we describe an additional mechanism accounting for the cytoplasmic anchoring of IkappaBalpha or NF-kappaB/IkappaBalpha complexes. The N-terminal domain of IkappaBalpha contains a sequence responsible for the cytoplasmic retention of IkappaBalpha that is specifically recognized by G3BP2, a cytoplasmic protein that interacts with both IkappaBalpha and IkappaBalpha/NF-kappaB complexes. G3BP2 is composed of an N-terminal domain homologous to the NTF2 protein, followed by an acidic domain sufficient for the interaction with the IkappaBalpha cytoplasmic retention sequence, a region containing five PXXP motifs and a C-terminal domain containing RNA-binding motifs. Overexpression of G3BP2 directly promotes retention of IkappaBalpha in the cytoplasm, indicating that subcellular distribution of IkappaBalpha and NF-kappaB/IkappaBalpha complexes likely results from a equilibrium between nuclear import, nuclear export, and cytoplasmic retention. The molecular organization of G3BP2 suggests that this putative scaffold protein might connect the NF-kappaB signal transduction cascade with cellular functions such as nuclear transport or RNA metabolism.