Host Resistance to Lung Infection Mediated by Major Vault Protein in Epithelial Cells

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Science  06 Jul 2007:
Vol. 317, Issue 5834, pp. 130-132
DOI: 10.1126/science.1142311

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The airway epithelium plays an essential role in innate immunity to lung pathogens. Ribonucleoprotein particles primarily composed of major vault protein (MVP) are highly expressed in cells that encounter xenobiotics. However, a clear biologic function for MVP is not established. We report here that MVP is rapidly recruited to lipid rafts when human lung epithelial cells are infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and maximal recruitment is dependent on bacterial binding to the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator. MVP was also essential for optimal epithelial cell internalization and clearance of P. aeruginosa. These results suggest that MVP makes a substantial contribution to epithelial cell–mediated resistance to infection.

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