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PLoS Biol. 2018 Dec 12;16(12):e2005821. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2005821. eCollection 2018 Dec.

Genome-wide functional analyses of plant coiled-coil NLR-type pathogen receptors reveal essential roles of their N-terminal domain in oligomerization, networking, and immunity.

Author information

1
The Genome Center, University of California-Davis, Davis, California, United States of America.
2
Department of Bioinformatics and Structural Biochemistry, Institute of Biochemistry of the Romanian Academy, Bucharest, Romania.
3
Department of Experimental Design and Bioinformatics, Faculty of Agriculture and Biology, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Warsaw, Poland.
4
Departments of Plant Sciences, Molecular & Cellular Biology, and Medical Microbiology & Immunology, University of California-Davis, Davis, California, United States of America.
5
Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of California-Davis, Davis, California, United States of America.
6
Molecular Plant Pathology, Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Abstract

The ability to induce a defense response after pathogen attack is a critical feature of the immune system of any organism. Nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat receptors (NLRs) are key players in this process and perceive the occurrence of nonself-activities or foreign molecules. In plants, coevolution with a variety of pests and pathogens has resulted in repertoires of several hundred diverse NLRs in single individuals and many more in populations as a whole. However, the mechanism by which defense signaling is triggered by these NLRs in plants is poorly understood. Here, we show that upon pathogen perception, NLRs use their N-terminal domains to transactivate other receptors. Their N-terminal domains homo- and heterodimerize, suggesting that plant NLRs oligomerize upon activation, similar to the vertebrate NLRs; however, consistent with their large number in plants, the complexes are highly heterometric. Also, in contrast to metazoan NLRs, the N-terminus, rather than their centrally located nucleotide-binding (NB) domain, can mediate initial partner selection. The highly redundant network of NLR interactions in plants is proposed to provide resilience to perturbation by pathogens.

PMID:
30540748
PMCID:
PMC6312357
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pbio.2005821
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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