Nucleocytoplasmic O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) attaches a single GlcNAc to hydroxyl groups of serine and threonine residues. Although the cellular localisation of OGT is important to regulate a variety of cellular processes, the molecular mechanisms regulating the nuclear localisation of OGT is unclear. Here, we characterised three amino acids (DFP; residues 451-453) as the nuclear localisation signal of OGT and demonstrated that this motif mediated the nuclear import of non-diffusible β-galactosidase. OGT bound the importin α5 protein, and this association was abolished when the DFP motif of OGT was mutated or deleted. We also revealed that O-GlcNAcylation of Ser389, which resides in the tetratricopeptide repeats, plays an important role in the nuclear localisation of OGT. Our findings may explain how OGT, which possesses a NLS, exists in the nucleus and cytosol simultaneously.
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