3 years ago

A violaxanthin de-epoxidase interacts with a viral suppressor of RNA silencing to inhibit virus amplification.

Cheng, Fan, Zhou, Chen, Sun, Jiao, Xia, Yan
RNA silencing plays a critical role against viral infection. To counteract this antiviral silencing, viruses have evolved various RNA silencing suppressors. Meanwhile, plants have evolved counter-counter defense strategies against RNA silencing suppression (RSS). In this study, the violaxanthin de-epoxidase protein of maize (Zea mays L.) (ZmVDE) was shown to interact specifically with the helper component-proteinase (HC-Pro, a viral RNA silencing suppressor) of Sugarcane mosaic virus (SCMV) via its mature protein region by yeast two-hybrid assay, which was confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation in Nicotiana benthamiana cells. It was demonstrated that amino acids 101-460 in HC-Pro and the amino acid Q292 in ZmVDE mature protein were essential for this interaction. The mRNA levels of ZmVDE were down-regulated 75%-65% at early stage of SCMV infection. Interestingly, ZmVDE that normally localized in the chloroplasts and cytoplasm could re-localize to HC-Pro-containing aggregate bodies in the presence of HC-Pro alone or SCMV infection. In addition, ZmVDE could attenuate the RSS activity of HC-Pro in a specific protein interaction-dependent manner. Subsequently, transient silencing of the ZmVDE gene facilitated SCMV RNA and coat protein accumulation. Taken together, our results suggest that ZmVDE interacts with SCMV HC-Pro and attenuates its RSS activity, contributing to decreased SCMV accumulation. This study demonstrates that a host factor can be involved in secondary defense responses against viral infection in monocot plants.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1104/pp.17.00638

DOI: 10.1104/pp.17.00638

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