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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 May 3;102(18):6496-501. Epub 2005 Apr 21.

The Pseudomonas syringae effector AvrRpt2 cleaves its C-terminally acylated target, RIN4, from Arabidopsis membranes to block RPM1 activation.

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Department of Biology, CB 3280, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


Plant pathogenic Pseudomonas syringae deliver type III effector proteins into the host cell, where they function to manipulate host defense and metabolism to benefit the extracellular bacterial colony. The activity of these virulence factors can be monitored by plant disease resistance proteins deployed to "guard" the targeted host proteins. The Arabidopsis RIN4 protein is targeted by three different type III effectors. Specific manipulation of RIN4 by each of them leads to activation of either the RPM1 or RPS2 disease resistance proteins. The type III effector AvrRpt2 is a cysteine protease that is autoprocessed inside the host cell where it activates RPS2 by causing RIN4 disappearance. RIN4 contains two sites related to the AvrRpt2 cleavage site (RCS1 and RCS2). We demonstrate that AvrRpt2-dependent cleavage of RIN4 at RCS2 is functionally critical in vivo. This event leads to proteasome-mediated elimination of all but a membrane-embedded approximately 6.4-kDa C-terminal fragment of RIN4. One or more of three consecutive cysteines in this C-terminal fragment are required for RIN4 localization; these are likely to be palmitoylation and/or prenylation sites. AvrRpt2-dependent cleavage at RCS2, and release of the remainder of RIN4 from the membrane, consequently prevents RPM1 activation by AvrRpm1 or AvrB. RCS2 is contained within the smallest tested fragment of RIN4 that binds AvrB in vitro. Thus, at least two bacterial virulence factors target the same domain of RIN4, a approximately 30-aa plant-specific signature sequence found in a small Arabidopsis protein family that may be additional targets for these bacterial virulence factors.

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