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The double-stranded RNA binding domain of human Dicer functions as a nuclear localization signal

Doyle, Michael, Badertscher, Lukas, Jaskiewicz, Lukasz, Güttinger, Stephan ORCID: 0000-0001-9448-973X, Jurado, Sabine, Hugenschmidt, Tabea, Kutay, Ulrike and Filipowicz, Witold (2013) The double-stranded RNA binding domain of human Dicer functions as a nuclear localization signal. RNA, 19. pp. 1238-1252. ISSN 1355-8382

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Identification Number: 10.1261/rna.039255.113


Dicer is a key player in microRNA (miRNA) and RNA interference (RNAi) pathways, processing miRNA precursors and doublestranded RNA into ~21-nt-long products ultimately triggering sequence-dependent gene silencing. Although processing of substrates in vertebrate cells occurs in the cytoplasm, there is growing evidence suggesting Dicer is also present and functional in the nucleus. To address this possibility, we searched for a nuclear localization signal (NLS) in human Dicer and identified its C-terminal double-stranded RNA binding domain (dsRBD) as harboring NLS activity. We show that the dsRBD-NLS can mediate nuclear import of a reporter protein via interaction with importins β, 7, and 8. In the context of full-length Dicer, the dsRBD-NLS is masked. However, duplication of the dsRBD localizes the full-length protein to the nucleus. Furthermore, deletion of the N-terminal helicase domain results in partial accumulation of Dicer in the nucleus upon leptomycin B treatment, indicating that CRM1 contributes to nuclear export of Dicer. Finally, we demonstrate that human Dicer has the ability to shuttle between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. We conclude that Dicer is a shuttling protein whose steady-state localization is cytoplasmic.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 RNA Society
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry
Q Science > QR Microbiology
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2013 10:25
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2021 02:17
Projects: J2436, LT00199/2005-L
Funders: Austrian Science Fund’s, Erwin Schrödinger Stipendium, Human Frontiers Science Organization, Swiss National Science Foundation, Novartis Research Foundation

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