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Virology. 2002 Jun 20;298(1):106-15.

Subcellular localisation, protein interactions, and RNA binding of Potato mop-top virus triple gene block proteins.

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Scottish Crop Research Institute, Invergowrie, By Dundee, DD2 5DA, Scotland, United Kingdom.


Subcellular localisation, protein interactions, and RNA binding of the triple gene block proteins (TGBp) of Potato mop-top virus (PMTV) were studied. The 13-kDa (TGBp2) and 21-kDa (TGBp3) proteins with or without green fluorescent protein fused to their N-terminus, and the 51-kDa protein (TGBp1) were expressed individually from a recombinant Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) vector. Fluorescent images and Western immunoblotting experiments of recombinant TMV-infected Nicotiana benthamiana cells suggested that TGBp2 and TGBp3 were associated with cellular endomembranes and that TGBp3 was associated with the cell wall, possibly located close to plasmodesmata. In Western blots, TGBp1 was detected in fractions containing the cell wall and those enriched for organelles and membranous structures. Self-interactions were demonstrated with all three proteins in yeast two-hybrid experiments, and a heterologous interaction was found between TGBp2 and TGBp3. No additional heterologous interactions were discovered between the different TGBp and none were detected in an in vitro binding assay. TGBp1 and TGBp2 but not TGBp3 were shown to bind ssRNA in a sequence nonspecific manner. The results support the model where TGBp2 and TGBp3 facilitate delivery and localisation of the ribonucleoprotein complex to the plasmodesmata. However, the process is facilitated by RNA-protein rather than protein:protein interactions between the TGBp1 in complex with viral RNA and membrane-localised TGBp2.

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