PROSITE documentation PDOC00208
Gas vesicles protein GVPc repeated domain signature


Gas vesicles are small, hollow, gas filled protein structures found in several cyanobacterial and archaebacterial microorganisms [1]. They allow the positioning of the bacteria at the favorable depth for growth. Gas vesicles are hollow cylindrical tubes, closed by a hollow, conical cap at each end. Both the conical end caps and central cylinder are made up of 4-5 nm wide ribs that run at right angles to the long axis of the structure. Gas vesicles seem to be constituted of two different protein components: GVPa and GVPc.

GVPc is a minor constituent of gas vesicles and seems to be located on the outer surface. Structurally, cyanobacterial GVPc consists of four or five tandem repeats of a 33 residue sequence flanked by sequences of 18 and 10 residues at the N- and C-termini, respectively.

We derived a signature pattern for the repeated domain. This signature spans positions 11 to 33 of that domain.


This pattern is not designed to detect archaebacterial GVPc [2] which is composed of 8 tandem repeats of a sequence very distantly (if at all) related to that of cyanobacterial GVPc.

Last update:

June 1992 / Text revised.


Technical section

PROSITE method (with tools and information) covered by this documentation:

GAS_VESICLE_C, PS00235; Gas vesicles protein GVPc repeated domain signature  (PATTERN)


1AuthorsWalsby A.E. Hayes P.K.
TitleGas vesicle proteins.
SourceBiochem. J. 264:313-322(1989).
PubMed ID2513809

2AuthorsJones J.G. Young D.C. DasSarma S.
TitleStructure and organization of the gas vesicle gene cluster on the Halobacterium halobium plasmid pNRC100.
SourceGene 102:117-122(1991).
PubMed ID1864501

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