Relocalization of nuclear ALY proteins to the cytoplasm by the tomato bushy stunt virus P19 pathogenicity protein

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The P19 protein of tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV) is a multifunctional pathogenicity determinant involved in suppression of posttranscriptional gene silencing, virus movement, and symptom induction. Here, we report that P19 interacts with the conserved RNA-binding domain of an as yet uncharacterized family of plant ALY proteins that, in animals, are involved in export of RNAs from the nucleus and transcriptional coactivation. We show that the four ALY proteins encoded by the Arabidopsis genome and two ALY proteins from Nicotiana benthamiana are localized to the nucleus. Moreover, and in contrast to animal ALY, all but one of the proteins are also in the nucleolus, with distinct subnuclear localizations. Infection of plants by TBSV or expression of P19 from Agrobacterium results in relocation of three of the six ALY proteins from the nucleus to the cytoplasm demonstrating specific targeting of the ALY proteins by P19. The differential effects on subcellular localization indicate that, in plants, the various ALY proteins may have different functions. Interaction with and relocalization of ALY is prevented by mutation of P19 at residues previously shown to be important for P19 function in plants. Down-regulation of expression of two N. benthamiana ALY genes by virus-induced gene silencing did not interfere with posttranscriptional gene silencing. Targeting of ALY proteins during TBSV infection may therefore be related to functions of P19 in addition to its silencing suppression activity.




Uhrig, J. F., Canto, T., Marshall, D., & MacFarlane, S. A. (2004). Relocalization of nuclear ALY proteins to the cytoplasm by the tomato bushy stunt virus P19 pathogenicity protein. Plant Physiology, 135(4), 2411–2423.

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