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Virology. 2006 Mar 1;346(1):66-73. Epub 2005 Nov 28.

Cell-to-cell movement of Alfalfa mosaic virus can be mediated by the movement proteins of Ilar-, bromo-, cucumo-, tobamo- and comoviruses and does not require virion formation.

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  • 1Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia-CSIC, Av. de los Naranjos s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain.


RNA 3 of Alfalfa mosaic virus (AMV) encodes the movement protein (MP) and coat protein (CP). Chimeric RNA 3 with the AMV MP gene replaced by the corresponding MP gene of Prunus necrotic ringspot virus, Brome mosaic virus, Cucumber mosaic virus or Cowpea mosaic virus efficiently moved from cell-to-cell only when the expressed MP was extended at its C-terminus with the C-terminal 44 amino acids of AMV MP. MP of Tobacco mosaic virus supported the movement of the chimeric RNA 3 whether or not the MP was extended with the C-terminal AMV MP sequence. The replacement of the CP gene in RNA 3 by a mutant gene encoding a CP defective in virion formation did not affect cell-to-cell transport of the chimera's with a functional MP. A GST pull-down technique was used to demonstrate for the first time that the C-terminal 44 amino acids of the MP of a virus belonging to the family Bromoviridae interact specifically with AMV virus particles. Together, these results demonstrate that AMV RNA 3 can be transported from cell-to-cell by both tubule-forming and non-tubule-forming MPs if a specific MP-CP interaction occurs.

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