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Virology. 2003 Aug 1;312(2):381-94.

Dual interaction of plant PCNA with geminivirus replication accessory protein (Ren) and viral replication protein (Rep).

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  • 1Department of Cellular Biology, Genetics, and Animal Physiology, Málaga University, Málaga 29071, Spain.


Geminiviruses replicate their small, single-stranded DNA genomes in plant nuclei using host replication machinery. Similar to most dicotyledonous plant-infecting geminiviruses, Tomato yellow leaf curl Sardinia virus (TYLCSV) encodes a protein, REn, that enhances viral DNA accumulation through an unknown mechanism. Earlier studies showed that REn protein from another geminivirus, Tomato golden mosaic virus (TGMV), forms oligomers and interacts with Rep protein, the only viral protein essential for replication. It has been shown that both proteins from TGMV also interact with a plant homolog of the mammalian tumor suppressor retinoblastoma protein (RBR). By using yeast two-hybrid technology and the TYLCSV REn protein as bait, we have isolated three clones of the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) of Arabidopsis thaliana, a ring-shaped protein that encircles DNA and plays an essential role in eukaryotic chromosomal DNA replication. We also demonstrate by the two-hybrid system and a pull-down assay that REn interacts with tomato PCNA (LePCNA). Analysis of truncated proteins has located the REn-binding domain of LePCNA between amino acids 132 and 187, whereas all REn deletions used abolished or decreased dramatically its ability to interact with PCNA. Tomato PCNA also interacts with TYLCSV Rep. We propose that the interaction between PCNA and REn/Rep takes place during virus infection, inducing the assembly of the plant replication complex (replisome) close to the virus origin of replication.

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