Heat induced differentiation of mouse embryonal carcinoma cells PCC4 has been reported earlier. We have further characterized the phenotype of the differentiated cells and by DD-RT-PCR identified several partial cDNAs that are differentially expressed during differentiation. Nucleotide homology search revealed that the genes corresponding to some of the up-regulated partial cDNAs are indeed part of differentiation pathway. 5′ extension of an EST that has homology to one of the partial cDNAs led to the identification of mouse cullin4B. Cullin4B is coded by a separate gene and has a unique and longer amino-terminal end with a putative nuclear localization signal sequence (NLS). We have cloned, expressed and raised antibodies against the amino and carboxy-terminal halves of cullin4B. Immuno staining of differentiated PCC4 cells with N-terminal Cul4B antibody showed enhanced expression of Cul4B and its translocation into the nucleus upon differentiation. Transient transfection of a chimeric gene encoding the N-terminal part of Cul4B fused to green fluorescent protein into PCC4 cells revealed that the protein was localized in the nucleus confirming the functional significance of the putative NLS. Since cullins are involved in recognition of specific proteins for degradation, based on the evidence presented here, we hypothesize that cullin4B is probably involved in differentiation specific degradation/ modification of nuclear proteins.
Volume 47, 2022
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