The nuclear localization signal (NLS)-containing proteins LEDGF and STAT3 localize to the nucleus in both the spinous and basal layers of the epidermis in psoriatic skin, where they function as transcription factors or co-factors to activate epidermal keratinocytes (KCs). However, the mechanism underlying the localization of these proteins remains to be elucidated. We investigated the differential nucleocytoplasmic transport of NLS-containing proteins as a potential pathogenic mechanism for psoriasis vulgaris. Nucleoporins play an important role in the Ran-GTP-dependent nucleocytoplasmic transport of NLS-containing proteins. We showed, using immunohistochemical staining, that the nucleoporins Ran-binding protein 2 (RanBP2) and Ran-GTPase-activating protein 1 (RanGAP1) have greater expression on the nuclear envelope in psoriatic epidermal KCs than in KCs from healthy controls. We then studied the signalling pathways involved in the regulation of these proteins in HaCaT cells. The two major downstream pathways of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signalling activated in psoriatic KCs are the MAPK/Erk/1/2 and the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/Akt pathways. Therefore, we treated HaCaT cells with inhibitors to disrupt the MAP kinase kinase 1 (MEK1), PI3-kinase, or mTOR pathways. RanBP2 and RanGAP1 protein expression levels were significantly greater in the nuclear envelope of HaCaT cells that were not treated with inhibitors than in cells treated with a combination of PI3-kinase and MEK1 inhibitors or mTOR and MEK1 inhibitors. These results suggest that adequate nuclear envelope expression of RanBP2 and RanGAP1 could be a prerequisite for nucleocytoplasmic transport in KCs in psoriatic epidermis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology