Expression of the vault RNA protects cells from undergoing apoptosis

Nachbauer, Birgit (3 June 2014). Expression of the vault RNA protects cells from undergoing apoptosis (Unpublished). In: The 19th Annual Meeting of the RNA Society. Quebec, Kanada. 03.06.-08.06.2014.

Non-protein-coding RNAs are a functionally versatile class of transcripts found in all domains of life exerting their biological role at the RNA level. Recently, we demonstrated that the vault-associated RNAs (vtRNAs) were significantly up-regulated in human B cells upon Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection [1,2].
vtRNAs are an integral part of the vault complex, a huge and evolutionarily conserved cytoplasmic ribonucleoprotein complex. The major vault protein (MVP) is the main structural component of the complex while vtRNA accounts for only 5% of its mass. Very little is known about the function(s) of the vtRNAs or the vault complex. In particular the role and significance of the previously observed vtRNA up-regulation upon EBV infection remained unclear. We individually expressed EBV-encoded genes in B cells and found the latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) as trigger for vtRNA up-regulation. To unravel a putative functional interconnection between vtRNA expression and EBV infection, we ectopically expressed vtRNA1-1 in human B cells and observed an improved viral establishment. Furthermore, expression of vtRNA1-1 but not of the other vtRNA paralogs protected cells from undergoing apoptosis. Knock-down of MVP had no effect on these phenotypes thus revealing the vtRNA and not the vault complex to contribute to the enhanced EBV establishment and apoptosis resistance. Mutational analysis highlighted the central domain of the vtRNA to be involved in the anti-apoptotic effect. Ongoing research aims at characterizing the target of vtRNA1-1 in the apoptotic pathway. In summary, our data reveal a crucial cellular function for the so far elusive RNA biology of the vtRNAs.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP)

UniBE Contributor:

Nachbauer, Birgit


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry




Christina Schüpbach

Date Deposited:

12 Jan 2015 15:58

Last Modified:

12 Jan 2015 15:58


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