The Pdcd4 gene has originally been isolated in a search for genes that are activated in cells undergoing apoptosis. Independent of these studies, the Pdcd4 gene has been implicated in the suppression of tumor-promoter-mediated transformation of keratinocytes and as a downstream target of Myb in hematopoietic cells. The Pdcd4 protein has weak homology to the eucaryotic translation initiation factor eIF4G and has been shown to interact with certain translation initiation factors. To explore the molecular function of the Pdcd4 protein, we have studied its subcellular localization. We show that the Pdcd4 protein is a predominantly nuclear protein under normal growth conditions and that it is exported from the nucleus by a leptomycin B-sensitive mechanism upon serum withdrawal. The protein contains two nuclear export signals, one of which is very potent. In addition, we demonstrate that the Pdcd4 protein has RNA-binding activity and that the sequences involved in RNA-binding are located in the amino-terminal part of the protein. Taken together, our data raise the possibility that Pdcd4 is involved in some aspect of nuclear RNA metabolism in addition to its suspected role in protein translation.