Intracellular distribution of viral gene products regulates a complex mechanism of cauliflower mosaic virus acquisition by its aphid vector. (41/230)

Interactions between Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) and its aphid vector are regulated by the viral protein P2, which binds to the aphid stylets, and protein P3, which bridges P2 and virions. By using baculovirus expression of P2 and P3, electron microscopy, surface plasmon resonance, affinity chromatography, and transmission assays, we demonstrate that P3 must be previously bound to virions in order that attachment to P2 will allow aphid transmission of CaMV. We also show that a P2:P3 complex exists in the absence of virions but is nonfunctional in transmission. Hence, unlike P2, P3 and virions cannot be sequentially acquired by the vector. Immunogold labeling revealed the predominance of spatially separated P2:P3 and P3:virion complexes in infected plant cells. This specific distribution indicates that the transmissible complex, P2:P3:virion, does not form primarily in infected plants but in aphids. A model, describing the regulating role of P3 in the formation of the transmissible CaMV complex in planta and during acquisition by aphids, is presented, and its consequences are discussed.  (+info)

A comparative analysis of the avirulence and translational transactivator functions of gene VI of Cauliflower mosaic virus. (42/230)

The primary function associated at present with the gene VI product of Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) is that of a translational transactivator (TAV). In this capacity, it alters the host translational machinery to allow reinitiation of translation of other CaMV genes on the polycistronic 35S RNA of CaMV. In addition, the gene VI protein can elicit a specific type of plant defense response called the hypersensitive response (HR) in Nicotiana edwardsonii. In this study, we have adapted the agroinfiltration technique to compare the sequences of CaMV gene VI required for TAV function and elicitation of HR. To measure the activity of the TAV, we coagroinfiltrated gene VI of CaMV strain W260 with a bicistronic GUS reporter plasmid. TAV function could be assayed 4 days postinfiltration, before the onset of HR in N. edwardsonii. Through the use of the TAV and HR assays, we could show that the TAV functions of gene VI of CaMV strains W260 and D4 were equivalent, but only W260 gene VI elicited HR. A mutational analysis of W260 gene VI showed that the structural requirements for elicitation of HR were much more stringent than those for TAV function. Small deletions from either the 5' or 3' end of W260 gene VI abolished its ability to elicit HR, although the TAV function was retained in the mutant. The TAV function could also tolerate a small insertion within gene VI; this insertion abolished the elicitor function. This study provides direct evidence that the TAV function of gene VI is separate from its role as an elicitor of HR.  (+info)

Observations concerning the discontinuous DNAs of cauliflower mosaic virus. (43/230)

The double-stranded circular DNA encapsidated within cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) particles contains three single-stranded discontinuities, two in one strand and one in the other, so that, upon denaturation, three linear single-stranded DNAs are produced. Here we show that a fourth much smaller single-stranded DNA, termed alpha1, is also present in denatured CaMV DNA preparations. The 5' extremity of alpha1 is identical to that of the alpha-strand, the strand of DNA possessing only one interruption, while its 3' extremity lies just two nucleotides downstream from a major transcription initiation site. We also show that the interrupted strand at each discontinuity sometimes has a single ribonucleotide in place of a deoxyribonucleotide at its 5' extremity. Oligoribonucleotide chains of eight and 10 residues in length have also been detected at the 5' end of one of the discontinuities. These structures are thought to be the vestiges of primers which have not been completely excised prior to encapsidation of the DNA. The possibility that synthesis of the alpha-strand occurs by reverse transcription of viral RNA using initiator tRNA(met) as primer is discussed.  (+info)

A novel positive tetracycline-dependent transactivator (rtTA) variant with reduced background activity and enhanced activation potential. (44/230)

The tetracycline-controlled transcription system has become one of the most potent systems for experimental manipulations of transcription levels in vivo. Here we report on rtTA variants, which were generated by combining the existing positively regulated Tet repressor domains of rtTA and rtTA-M2 with a modified and multimerized minimal transactivation domain from VP16 (L-domain). A transactivator with multimerized L-domains shows drastically reduced background activity and enhanced transcriptional activation on different tetracycline-responsive promoters. The new rtTA variants require higher doses of doxycycline and display a more linear dose-response curve than the original rtTA or rtTA-M2 proteins.  (+info)

Regulated nuclear targeting of cauliflower mosaic virus. (45/230)

The mature cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) capsid protein (CP), if expressed in the absence of other viral proteins, is transported into the plant cell nucleus by the action of a nuclear localization signal (NLS) close to the N terminus. In contrast, virus particles do not enter the nucleus, but dock at the nuclear membrane, a process inhibited by anti-NLS antibodies or by GTP gamma S, and apparently mediated by interaction of CP with host importin alpha. The very acidic N-terminal extension of the viral CP precursor inhibits nuclear targeting of the protein and hence the precursor is localized in the cytoplasm. We hypothesize that this provides a control mechanism which ensures that the CP precursor is used for virus assembly in the cytoplasm and that only mature virus particles reach the nuclear pore.  (+info)

The cauliflower mosaic virus virion-associated protein is dispensable for viral replication in single cells. (46/230)

Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) open reading frame III (ORF III) codes for a virion-associated protein (Vap), which is one of two viral proteins essential for aphid transmission. However, unlike the aphid transmission factor encoded by CaMV ORF II, Vap is also essential for systemic infection, suggesting that it is a multifunctional protein. To elucidate the additional function or functions of Vap, we tested the replication of noninfectious ORF III-defective mutants in transfected turnip protoplasts. PCR and Western blot analyses revealed that CaMV replication had occurred with an efficiency similar to that of wild-type virus and without leading to reversions. Electron microscopic examination revealed that an ORF III frameshift mutant formed normally structured virions. These results demonstrate that Vap is dispensable for replication in single cells and is not essential for virion morphogenesis. Analysis of inoculated turnip leaves showed that the ORF III frameshift mutant does not cause any detectable local infection. These results are strongly indicative of a role for Vap in virus movement.  (+info)

Two classes of short interfering RNA in RNA silencing. (47/230)

RNA silencing is a eukaryotic genome defence system that involves processing of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) into 21-26 nt, short interfering RNA (siRNA). The siRNA mediates suppression of genes corresponding to the dsRNA through targeted RNA degradation. In some plant systems there are additional silencing processes, involving systemic spread of silencing and RNA-directed methylation/transcriptional suppression of homologous genomic DNA. We show here that siRNAs produced in plants from a green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgene are in short (21-22 nt) and long (24-26 nt) size classes, whereas those from endogenous retroelements are only in the long class. Viral suppressors of RNA silencing and mutations in Arabidopsis indicate that these classes of siRNA have different roles. The long siRNA is dispensable for sequence-specific mRNA degradation, but correlates with systemic silencing and methylation of homologous DNA. Conversely, the short siRNA class correlates with mRNA degradation but not with systemic signalling or methylation. These findings reveal an unexpected level of complexity in the RNA silencing pathway in plants that may also apply in animals.  (+info)

Mutation of capsid protein phosphorylation sites abolishes cauliflower mosaic virus infectivity. (48/230)

The cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) capsid protein is derived by bidirectional processing of the precapsid protein (CP56). We expressed several derivatives of CP56 in Escherichia coli and used them as substrates for virus-associated kinase and casein kinase II purified from plant cells. Three serine residues located at the N terminus of the mature viral protein CP44 were identified as phosphorylation targets. A mutation of one of them in the viral context had little or no effect on viral infectivity, but a mutation of all three serines abolished infectivity. The mapping of phosphorylation sites in CP44, but not CP39 or CP37, and immunodetection of the Zn finger motif in CP44 and CP39, but not CP37, support the model that CP39 is produced from CP44 by N-terminal processing and CP37 is produced from CP39 by C-terminal processing. We discuss the possible role of phosphorylation in the processing and assembly of CaMV capsid protein.  (+info)