85 research outputs found

    Vaults. III. Vault ribonucleoprotein particles open into flower-like structures with octagonal symmetry.

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    The structure of rat liver vault ribonucleoprotein particles was examined using several different staining techniques in conjunction with EM and digestion with hydrolytic enzymes. Quantitative scanning transmission EM demonstrates that each vault particle has a total mass of 12.9 +/- 1 MD and contains two centers of mass, suggesting that each vault particle is a dimer. Freeze-etch reveals that each vault opens into delicate flower-like structures, in which eight rectangular petals are joined to a central ring, each by a thin hook. Vaults examined by negative stain and conventional transmission EM (CTEM) also reveal the flower-like structure. Trypsin treatment of vaults resulted exclusively in cleavage of the major vault protein (p104) and concurrently alters their structure as revealed by negative stain/CTEM, consistent with a localization of p104 to the flower petals. We propose a structural model that predicts the stoichiometry of vault proteins and RNA, defines vault dimer-monomer interactions, and describes two possible modes for unfolding of vaults into flowers. These highly dynamic structural variations are likely to play a role in vault function

    The nucleoporin ALADIN regulates Aurora A localization to ensure robust mitotic spindle formation

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    The formation of the mitotic spindle is a complex process that requires massive cellular reorganization. Regulation by mitotic kinases controls this entire process. One of these mitotic controllers is Aurora A kinase, which is itself highly regulated. In this study, we show that the nuclear pore protein ALADIN is a novel spatial regulator of Aurora A. Without ALADIN, Aurora A spreads from centrosomes onto spindle microtubules, which affects the distribution of a subset of microtubule regulators and slows spindle assembly and chromosome alignment. ALADIN interacts with inactive Aurora A and is recruited to the spindle pole after Aurora A inhibition. Of interest, mutations in ALADIN cause triple A syndrome. We find that some of the mitotic phenotypes that we observe after ALADIN depletion also occur in cells from triple A syndrome patients, which raises the possibility that mitotic errors may underlie part of the etiology of this syndrome