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Virology. 2010 Feb 5;397(1):56-63. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2009.11.015. Epub 2009 Nov 30.

The Tobacco etch virus P3 protein forms mobile inclusions via the early secretory pathway and traffics along actin microfilaments.

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College of Plant Protection, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, P R China.


Plant potyviruses encode two membrane proteins, 6K and P3. The 6K protein has been shown to induce virus replication vesicles. However, the function of P3 remains unclear. In this study, subcellular localization of the Tobacco etch virus (TEV) P3 protein was investigated in Nicotiana benthamiana leaf cells. The TEV P3 protein localized on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane and formed punctate inclusions in association with the Golgi apparatus. The trafficking of P3 to the Golgi was mediated by the early secretory pathway. The Golgi-associated punctate structures originated from the ER exit site (ERES). Deletion analyses identified P3 domains required for the retention of P3 at the Golgi. Moreover, the P3 punctate structure was found to traffic along the actin filaments and colocalize with the 6K-containing replication vesicles. Taken together, these data support previous suggestions that P3 may play dual roles in virus movement and replication.

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