Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2007 Feb 26;353(4):869-74. Epub 2006 Dec 26.
Division of Development, Department of Human Inherited Metabolic Disease, National Institute of Neuroscience, Ogawahigashi-machi 4-1-1, Kodaira, Tokyo 187-8502, Japan.
Although a mutation (R553H) in the forkhead box (FOX)P2 gene is associated with speech/language disorder, little is known about the function of FOXP2 or its relevance to this disorder. In the present study, we identify the forkhead nuclear localization domains that contribute to the cellular distribution of FOXP2. Nuclear localization of FOXP2 depended on two distally separated nuclear localization signals in the forkhead domain. A truncated version of FOXP2 lacking the leu-zip, Zn2+ finger, and forkhead domains that was observed in another patient with speech abnormalities demonstrated an aggregated cytoplasmic localization. Furthermore, FOXP2 (R553H) mainly exhibited a cytoplasmic localization despite retaining interactions with nuclear transport proteins (importin alpha and beta). Interestingly, wild type FOXP2 promoted the transport of FOXP2 (R553H) into the nucleus. Mutant and wild type FOXP2 heterodimers in the nucleus or FOXP2 R553H in the cytoplasm may underlie the pathogenesis of the autosomal dominant speech/language disorder.