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Plant Mol Biol. 2006 May;61(1-2):31-45.

Direct interaction between the tobacco mosaic virus helicase domain and the ATP-bound resistance protein, N factor during the hypersensitive response in tobacco plants.

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Research and Education Center for Genetic Information, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Japan.


Plants cope with pathogens with distinct mechanisms. One example is a gene-for-gene system, in which plants recognize the pathogen molecule by specified protein(s), this being called the R factor. However, mechanisms of interaction between proteins from the host and the pathogen are not completely understood. Here, we analyzed the mode of interaction between the N factor, a tobacco R factor, and the helicase domain (p50) of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV). To this end, domain dissected proteins were prepared and subjected to Agroinfiltration into intact leaves, followed by yeast two hybrid and pull-down assays. The results pointed to three novel features. First, the N factor was found to directly bind to the p50 of TMV, second, ATP was pre-requisite for this interaction, with formation of an ATP/N factor complex, and third, the N factor was shown to possess ATPase activity, which is enhanced by the p50. Moreover, we found that intra- and/or inter-molecular interactions take place in the N factor molecule. This interaction required ATP, and was disrupted by the p50. Based on these results, we propose a following model for the TMV recognition mechanism in tobacco plants. The N factor forms a complex with ATP, to which the helicase domain interacts, and enhances ATP hydrolysis. The resulting ADP/N factor complex then changes its conformation, thereby facilitating further interaction with the down-stream signaling factor(s). This model is consistent with the idea of 'protein machine'.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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