Elsevier, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 40(276), p. 37715-37721, 2001
Human vaults are intracellular ribonucleoprotein particles believed to be involved in multidrug resistance. The complex consists of a major vault protein (MVP), two minor vault proteins (VPARP and TEP1), and several small untranslated RNA molecules. Three human vault RNA genes (HVG1-3) have been described, and a fourth was found in a homology search (HVG4). In the literature only the association of hvg1 with vaults was shown in vivo. However, in a yeast three-hybrid screen the association of hvg1, hvg2, and hvg4 with TEP1 was demonstrated. In this study we investigated the expression and vault association of different vault RNAs in a variety of cell lines, including pairs of drug-sensitive and drug-resistant cells. HVG1-3 are expressed in all cell lines examined, however, none of the cell lines expressed HVG4. This probably is a consequence of the absence of essential external polymerase III promoter elements. The bulk of the vault RNA associated with vaults was hvg1. Interestingly, an increased amount of hvg3 was bound to vaults isolated from multidrug-resistant cell lines. Our findings suggest that vaults bind the RNA molecules with different affinities in different situations. The ratio in which the vault RNAs are associated with vaults might be of functional importance.