NLSdb: database of nuclear localization signals

Nucleic Acids Res. 2003 Jan 1;31(1):397-9. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkg001.


NLSdb is a database of nuclear localization signals (NLSs) and of nuclear proteins. NLSs are short stretches of residues mediating transport of nuclear proteins into the nucleus. The database contains 114 experimentally determined NLSs that were obtained through an extensive literature search. Using 'in silico mutagenesis' this set was extended to 308 experimental and potential NLSs. This final set matched over 43% of all known nuclear proteins and matches no currently known non-nuclear protein. NLSdb contains over 6000 predicted nuclear proteins and their targeting signals from the PDB and SWISS-PROT/TrEMBL databases. The database also contains over 12 500 predicted nuclear proteins from six entirely sequenced eukaryotic proteomes (Homo sapiens, Mus musculus, Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans, Arabidopsis thaliana and Saccharomyces cerevisiae). NLS motifs often co-localize with DNA-binding regions. This observation was used to also annotate over 1500 DNA-binding proteins. NLSdb can be accessed via the web site:

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Active Transport, Cell Nucleus
  • Animals
  • Databases, Protein*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Nuclear Localization Signals*
  • Nuclear Proteins / chemistry*
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Proteome / chemistry


  • Nuclear Localization Signals
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Proteome