MM Wiedmann, S Aibara, DR Spring, M Stewart, JD Brenton
J Struct Biol
The transcription factor hepatocyte nuclear factor 1β (HNF1β) is ubiquitously overexpressed in ovarian clear cell carcinoma (CCC) and is a potential therapeutic target. To explore potential approaches that block HNF1β transcription we have identified and characterised extensively the nuclear localisation signal (NLS) for HNF1β and its interactions with the nuclear protein import receptor, Importin-α. Pull-down assays demonstrated that the DNA binding domain of HNF1β interacted with a spectrum of Importin-α isoforms and deletion constructs tagged with eGFP confirmed that the HNF1β (229)KKMRRNR(235) sequence was essential for nuclear localisation. We further characterised the interaction between the NLS and Importin-α using complementary biophysical techniques and have determined the 2.4Å resolution crystal structure of the HNF1β NLS peptide bound to Importin-α. The functional, biochemical, and structural characterisation of the nuclear localisation signal present on HNF1β and its interaction with the nuclear import protein Importin-α provide the basis for the development of compounds targeting transcription factor HNF1β via its nuclear import pathway.