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Virology. 2007 Nov 25;368(2):388-404. Epub 2007 Aug 8.

Host transcription factor Rpb11p affects tombusvirus replication and recombination via regulating the accumulation of viral replication proteins.

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Department of Plant Pathology, University of Kentucky, Plant Science Building, Lexington, KY 40546, USA.


Previous genome-wide screens identified over 100 host genes whose deletion/down-regulation affected tombusvirus replication and 32 host genes that affected tombusvirus RNA recombination in yeast, a model host for replication of Tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV). Down-regulation of several of the identified host genes affected the accumulation levels of p33 and p92(pol) replication proteins, raising the possibility that these host factors could be involved in the regulation of the amount of viral replication proteins and, thus, they are indirectly involved in TBSV replication and recombination. To test this model, we developed a tightly regulated expression system for recombinant p33 and p92(pol) replication proteins in yeast. We demonstrate that high accumulation level of p33 facilitated efficient viral RNA replication, while the effect of p33 level on RNA recombination was less pronounced. On the other hand, high level of p92(pol) accumulation promoted TBSV RNA recombination more efficiently than RNA replication. As predicted, Rpb11p, which is part of the polII complex, affected the accumulation levels of p33 and p92(pol) as well as altered RNA replication and recombination. An in vitro assay with the tombusvirus replicase further supported that Rpb11p affects TBSV replication and recombination only indirectly, via regulating p33 and p92(pol) levels. In contrast, the mechanism by which Rpt4p endopeptidase/ATPase and Mps1p threonine/tyrosine kinase affect TBSV recombination is different from that proposed for Rpb11p. We propose a model that the concentration (molecular crowding) of replication proteins within the viral replicase is a factor affecting viral replication and recombination.

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