The mechanism of vault opening from the high resolution structure of the N-terminal repeats of MVP

EMBO J. 2009 Nov 4;28(21):3450-7. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2009.274. Epub 2009 Sep 24.


Vaults are ubiquitous ribonucleoprotein complexes involved in a diversity of cellular processes, including multidrug resistance, transport mechanisms and signal transmission. The vault particle shows a barrel-shaped structure organized in two identical moieties, each consisting of 39 copies of the major vault protein MVP. Earlier data indicated that vault halves can dissociate at acidic pH. The crystal structure of the vault particle solved at 8 A resolution, together with the 2.1-A structure of the seven N-terminal domains (R1-R7) of MVP, reveal the interactions governing vault association and provide an explanation for a reversible dissociation induced by low pH. The structural comparison with the recently published 3.5 A model shows major discrepancies, both in the main chain tracing and in the side chain assignment of the two terminal domains R1 and R2.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Mice
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Vault Ribonucleoprotein Particles / chemistry*


  • Vault Ribonucleoprotein Particles
  • major vault protein