Leptomycin B inactivates CRM1/exportin 1 by covalent modification at a cysteine residue in the central conserved region

Nobuaki Kudo, Nobuaki Matsumori, Hiroshi Taoka, Daisuke Fujiwara, Erwin P. Schreiner, Barbara Wolff, Minoru Yoshida, Sueharu Horinouchi

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The cellular target of leptomycin B (LMB), a nuclear export inhibitor, has been identified as CRM1 (exportin 1), an evolutionarily conserved receptor for the nuclear export signal of proteins. However, the mechanism by which LMB inhibits CRM1 still remains unclear. CRM1 in a Schizo-saccharomyces pombe mutant showing extremely high resistance to LMB had a single amino acid replacement at Cys-529 with Ser. The mutant gene, named crm1-K1, conferred LMB resistance on wild-type S. pombe, and Crm1-K1 no longer bound biotinylated LMB. 1H NMR analysis showed that LMB bound N-acetyl-L-cysteine methyl ester through a Michael-type addition, consistent with the idea that LMB binds covalently via its α,β-unsaturated δ-lactone to the sulfhydryl group of Cys-529. When HeLa cells were cultured with biotinylated LMB, the only cellular protein bound covalently was CRM1. Inhibition by N- ethylmaleimide (NEM), an alkylating agent, of CRM1-mediated nuclear export probably was caused by covalent binding of the electrophilic structure in NEM to the sulfhydryl group of Cys-529, because the crm1-K1 mutant showed the normal rate for the export of Rev nuclear export signal-bearing proteins in the presence of not only LMB but also NEM. These results show that the single cysteine residue determines LMB sensitivity and is selectively alkylated by LMB, leading to CRM1 inactivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9112-9117
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Aug 3 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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