Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

We have reported previously that the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) thymidine kinase (TK) fused with green fluorescent protein (GFP) is localized in the nucleus of HSV-1 TK-GFP gene-transfected cells (Degrève et al. (1998) J. Virol. 72, 9535-9543). Deletion of the N-terminal 34 amino acids or selective mutation of the nonapeptide (25)RRTALRPRR(33), located in the N-terminal region of HSV-1 TK, resulted in the loss of the specific nuclear localization of HSV-1 TK. Utilizing information on the crystallographic structure of HSV-1 TK, we have now identified three additional putative nuclear localization signals and evaluated their potential role in the nuclear trafficking of HSV-1 TK by site-directed mutagenesis. We found that the sites containing the amino acids R236-R237 and K317-R318 are absolutely required for specific nuclear targeting of HSV-1 TK. The K317-R318 region, located at the interface between the two monomers in the dimeric HSV-1 TK structure, could act as a nuclear localization signal for monomeric HSV-1 TK. Alternatively, crystallographic data indicate that R318 might be essential for the formation of the TK dimer, and therefore it is required if HSV-1 TK is transported as a dimer.

Original publication




Journal article


Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Publication Date





338 - 342


Laboratory of Virology and Chemotherapy, Rega Institute for Medical Research, Minderbroedersstraat 10, Leuven, B-3000, Belgium.


Tumor Cells, Cultured, Cell Nucleus, Cytosol, Humans, Herpesvirus 1, Human, Thymidine Kinase, Luminescent Proteins, Green Fluorescent Proteins, Recombinant Fusion Proteins, Transfection, Mutagenesis, Site-Directed, Binding Sites, Amino Acid Sequence, Mutation, Plasmids, Molecular Sequence Data