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Many proteins originally identified as cytoplasmic - including many associated with the cytoskeleton or cell junctions - are increasingly being found in the nucleus, where they have specific functions. Here, we focus on proteins that translocate from the cytoplasm to the nucleus in response to external signals and regulate transcription without binding to DNA directly (for example, through interaction with transcription factors). We propose that proteins with such characteristics are classified as a distinct group of extracellular signalling effectors, and we suggest the term STRaND (shuttling transcriptional regulators and non-DNA binding) to refer to this group. Crucial roles of STRaNDs include linking cell morphology and adhesion with changes in transcriptional programmes in response to signals such as mechanical stresses.


Journal article


Nature reviews. Molecular cell biology

Publication Date



State Key Laboratory of Medical Genomics, Shanghai Institute of Hematology, Rui Jin Hospital, affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China; he was previously at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Researchuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, UK.