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PLoS Pathog. 2014 Jun 26;10(6):e1004232. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004232. eCollection 2014 Jun.

HopW1 from Pseudomonas syringae disrupts the actin cytoskeleton to promote virulence in Arabidopsis.

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Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America.


A central mechanism of virulence of extracellular bacterial pathogens is the injection into host cells of effector proteins that modify host cellular functions. HopW1 is an effector injected by the type III secretion system that increases the growth of the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae on the Columbia accession of Arabidopsis. When delivered by P. syringae into plant cells, HopW1 causes a reduction in the filamentous actin (F-actin) network and the inhibition of endocytosis, a known actin-dependent process. When directly produced in plants, HopW1 forms complexes with actin, disrupts the actin cytoskeleton and inhibits endocytosis as well as the trafficking of certain proteins to vacuoles. The C-terminal region of HopW1 can reduce the length of actin filaments and therefore solubilize F-actin in vitro. Thus, HopW1 acts by disrupting the actin cytoskeleton and the cell biological processes that depend on actin, which in turn are needed for restricting P. syringae growth in Arabidopsis.

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