Send to

Choose Destination
Virology. 2009 Apr 25;387(1):29-40. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2009.01.045. Epub 2009 Feb 28.

Characterization and subcellular localization of an RNA silencing suppressor encoded by Rice stripe tenuivirus.

Author information

State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology, Institute of Biotechnology, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310029, People's Republic of China.


Rice stripe virus (RSV) is a single-stranded (ss) RNA virus belonging to the genus Tenuivirus. RSV is present in many East Asian countries and causes severe diseases in rice fields, especially in China. In this study, we analyzed six proteins encoded by the virus for their abilities to suppress RNA silencing in plant using a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-based transient expression assay. Our results indicate that NS3 encoded by RSV RNA3, but not other five RSV encoded proteins, can strongly suppress local GFP silencing in agroinfiltrated Nicotiana benthamiana leaves. NS3 can reverse the GFP silencing, it can also prevent long distance spread of silencing signals which have been reported to be necessary for inducing systemic silencing in host plants. The NS3 protein can significantly reduce the levels of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) in silencing cells, and was found to bind 21-nucleotide ss-siRNA, siRNA duplex and long ssRNA but not long double-stranded (ds)-RNA. Both N and C terminal of the NS3 protein are critical for silencing suppression, and mutation of the putative nuclear localization signal decreases its local silencing suppression efficiency and blocks its systemic silencing suppression. The NS3-GFP fusion protein and NS3 were shown to accumulate predominantly in nuclei of onion, tobacco and rice cells through transient expression assay or immunocytochemistry and electron microscopy. In addition, transgenic rice and tobacco plants expressing the NS3 did not show any apparent alteration in plant growth and morphology, although NS3 was proven to be a pathogenicity determinant in the PVX heterogenous system. Taken together, our results demonstrate that RSV NS3 is a suppressor of RNA silencing in planta, possibly through sequestering siRNA molecules generated in cells that are undergoing gene silencing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center