A short amino acid sequence able to specify nuclear location

Cell. 1984 Dec;39(3 Pt 2):499-509. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(84)90457-4.


A short sequence of amino acids including Lys-128 is required for the normal nuclear accumulation of wild-type and deleted forms of SV40 large T antigen. A cytoplasmic large T mutant that lacks sequences from around Lys-128 localizes to the nucleus if the missing sequence is attached to its amino terminus. The implication that the sequence element around Lys-128 acts as an autonomous signal capable of specifying nuclear location was tested directly by transferring it to the amino termini of beta-galactosidase and of pyruvate kinase, normally a cytoplasmic protein. Sequences that included the putative signal induced each of the fusion proteins to accumulate completely in the nucleus but had no discernible effect when Lys-128 was replaced by Thr. By reducing the size of the transposed sequence we conclude that Pro-Lys-Lys-Lys-Arg-Lys-Val can act as a nuclear location signal. The sequence may represent a prototype of similar sequences in other nuclear proteins.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Polyomavirus Transforming
  • Antigens, Viral, Tumor / genetics*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Chromosome Deletion
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Genes*
  • Genes, Viral*
  • Kidney
  • Mutation
  • Plasmids
  • Pyruvate Kinase / genetics
  • Simian virus 40 / genetics*
  • Species Specificity
  • Transfection
  • Viral Proteins / genetics*
  • beta-Galactosidase / genetics


  • Antigens, Polyomavirus Transforming
  • Antigens, Viral, Tumor
  • Viral Proteins
  • Pyruvate Kinase
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes
  • beta-Galactosidase