Although the precise intracellular roles of S100 proteins are not fully understood, these proteins are thought to be involved in Ca(2+)-dependent diverse signal transduction pathways. In this report, we identified importin α as a novel target of S100A6. Importin α contains armadillo repeats, essential for binding to nuclear localization signals. Based on the results from GST pull-down assay, gel-shift assay, and co-immunoprecipitation, we demonstrated that S100A6 specifically interacts with the armadillo repeats of importin α in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner, resulting in inhibition of the nuclear localization signal (NLS)-importin α complex formation in vitro and in vivo. These results indicate S100A6 may regulate the nuclear transport of NLS-cargos in response to increasing concentrations of intracellular Ca(2+).
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