Dual interaction of a geminivirus replication accessory factor with a viral replication protein and a plant cell cycle regulator.
Geminiviruses replicate their small, single-stranded DNA genomes through double-stranded DNA intermediates in plant nuclei using host replication machinery. Like most dicot-infecting geminiviruses, tomato golden mosaic virus encodes a protein, AL3 or C3, that greatly enhances viral DNA accumulation through an unknown mechanism. Earlier studies showed that AL3 forms oligomers and interacts with the viral replication initiator AL1. Experiments reported here established that AL3 also interacts with a plant homolog of the mammalian tumor suppressor protein, retinoblastoma (pRb). Analysis of truncated AL3 proteins indicated that pRb and AL1 bind to similar regions of AL3, whereas AL3 oligomerization is dependent on a different region of the protein. Analysis of truncated AL1 proteins located the AL3-binding domain between AL1 amino acids 101 and 180 to a region that also includes the AL1 oligomerization domain and the catalytic site for initiation of viral DNA replication. Interestingly, the AL3-binding domain was fully contiguous with the domain that mediates AL1/pRb interactions. The potential significance of AL3/pRb binding and the coincidence of the domains responsible for AL3, AL1, and pRb interactions are discussed.