Vast numbers of proteins are transported into and out of the nuclei by approximately 20 species of importin-β family nucleocytoplasmic transport receptors. However, the significance of the multiple parallel transport pathways that the receptors constitute is poorly understood because only limited numbers of cargo proteins have been reported. Here, we identified cargo proteins specific to the 12 species of human import receptors with a high-throughput method that employs stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture, an in vitro reconstituted transport system, and quantitative mass spectrometry. The identified cargoes illuminated the manner of cargo allocation to the receptors. The redundancies of the receptors vary widely depending on the cargo protein. Cargoes of the same receptor are functionally related to one another, and the predominant protein groups in the cargo cohorts differ among the receptors. Thus, the receptors are linked to distinct biological processes by the nature of their cargoes.
Kimura, M., Morinaka, Y., Imai, K., Kose, S., Horton, P., & Imamoto, N. (2017). Extensive cargo identification reveals distinct biological roles of the 12 importin pathways. ELife, 6. https://doi.org/10.7554/elife.21184