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Plant Physiol. 2013 Apr;161(4):2049-61. doi: 10.1104/pp.112.209023. Epub 2013 Feb 8.

Phosphorylation of HopQ1, a type III effector from Pseudomonas syringae, creates a binding site for host 14-3-3 proteins.

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  • 1Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, 02-106 Warsaw, Poland.


HopQ1 (for Hrp outer protein Q), a type III effector secreted by Pseudomonas syringae pv phaseolicola, is widely conserved among diverse genera of plant bacteria. It promotes the development of halo blight in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). However, when this same effector is injected into Nicotiana benthamiana cells, it is recognized by the immune system and prevents infection. Although the ability to synthesize HopQ1 determines host specificity, the role it plays inside plant cells remains unexplored. Following transient expression in planta, HopQ1 was shown to copurify with host 14-3-3 proteins. The physical interaction between HopQ1 and 14-3-3a was confirmed in planta using the fluorescence resonance energy transfer-fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy technique. Moreover, mass spectrometric analyses detected specific phosphorylation of the canonical 14-3-3 binding site (RSXpSXP, where pS denotes phosphoserine) located in the amino-terminal region of HopQ1. Amino acid substitution within this motif abrogated the association and led to altered subcellular localization of HopQ1. In addition, the mutated HopQ1 protein showed reduced stability in planta. These data suggest that the association between host 14-3-3 proteins and HopQ1 is important for modulating the properties of this bacterial effector.

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