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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 Jun 9;95(12):7040-5.

Agrobacterium VirD2 protein interacts with plant host cyclophilins.

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Department of Microbiology, Box 357242, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-7242, USA.


Agrobacterium tumefaciens induces crown gall tumors on plants by transferring a nucleoprotein complex, the T-complex, from the bacterium to the plant cell. The T-complex consists of T-DNA, a single-stranded DNA segment of the tumor-inducing plasmid, VirD2, an endonuclease covalently bound to the 5' end of the T-DNA, and perhaps VirE2, a single-stranded DNA binding protein. The yeast two-hybrid system was used to screen for proteins interacting with VirD2 and VirE2 to identify components in Arabidopsis thaliana that interact with the T-complex. Three VirD2- and two VirE2-interacting proteins were identified. Here we characterize the interactions of VirD2 with two isoforms of Arabidopsis cyclophilins identified by using this analysis. The VirD2 domain interacting with the cyclophilins is distinct from the endonuclease, omega, and the nuclear localization signal domains. The VirD2-cyclophilin interaction is disrupted in vitro by cyclosporin A, which also inhibits Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of Arabidopsis and tobacco. These data strongly suggest that host cyclophilins play a role in T-DNA transfer.

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