This gene is one member of a family of nuclear RNA export factor genes. Common domain features of this family are a noncanonical RNP-type RNA-binding domain (RBD), 4 leucine-rich repeats (LRRs), a nuclear transport factor 2 (NTF2)-like domain that allows heterodimerization with NTF2-related export protein-1 (NXT1), and a ubiquitin-associated domain that mediates interactions with nucleoporins. Alternative splicing results in transcript variants. The LRRs and NTF2-like domains are required for export activity. The encoded protein of this gene shuttles between the nucleus and the cytoplasm and binds in vivo to poly(A)+ RNA. It is the vertebrate homologue of the yeast protein Mex67p. The encoded protein overcomes the mRNA export block caused by the presence of saturating amounts of CTE (constitutive transport element) RNA of type D retroviruses. A variant allele of the homologous Nxf1 gene in mice suppresses a class of mutations caused by integration of an endogenous retrovirus (intracisternal A particle) into an intron.
The Tap-C domain is made of four alpha helices packed against each other. The arrangement of helices 1, 2 and 3 is similar to that seen in a UBA fold. and is joined to the next module by flexible 12-residue Pro-rich linker.
Tap can form a multimeric complex with itself and with other members of the NXF family. Three functional domains of Tap have been well characterized: the RNA-binding domain, the Nuclear Transport Factor 2 (NTF2)-like domain, and the ubiquitin-associated (UBA) domain.
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