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J Gen Virol. 2013 Mar;94(Pt 3):682-6. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.047860-0. Epub 2012 Nov 14.

Fig mosaic emaravirus p4 protein is involved in cell-to-cell movement.

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Laboratory of Plant Pathology, Department of Agricultural and Environmental Biology, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan.


Fig mosaic virus (FMV), a member of the newly formed genus Emaravirus, is a segmented negative-strand RNA virus. Each of the six genomic FMV segments contains a single ORF: that of RNA4 encodes the protein p4. FMV-p4 is presumed to be the movement protein (MP) of the virus; however, direct experimental evidence for this is lacking. We assessed the intercellular distribution of FMV-p4 in plant cells by confocal laser scanning microscopy and we found that FMV-p4 was localized to plasmodesmata and to the plasma membrane accompanied by tubule-like structures. A series of experiments designed to examine the movement functions revealed that FMV-p4 has the capacity to complement viral cell-to-cell movement, prompt GFP diffusion between cells, and spread by itself to neighbouring cells. Altogether, our findings demonstrated that FMV-p4 shares several properties with other viral MPs and plays an important role in cell-to-cell movement.

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