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The viral genome-linked protein, VPg, of potyviruses is a multifunctional protein involved in viral genome translation and replication. Previous studies have shown that both eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) and eIF4G or their respective isoforms from the eIF4F complex, which modulates the initiation of protein translation, selectively interact with VPg and are required for potyvirus infection. Here, we report the identification of two DEAD-box RNA helicase-like proteins, PpDDXL and AtRH8 from peach (Prunus persica) and Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), respectively, both interacting with VPg. We show that AtRH8 is dispensable for plant growth and development but necessary for potyvirus infection. In potyvirus-infected Nicotiana benthamiana leaf tissues, AtRH8 colocalizes with the chloroplast-bound virus accumulation vesicles, suggesting a possible role of AtRH8 in viral genome translation and replication. Deletion analyses of AtRH8 have identified the VPg-binding region. Comparison of this region and the corresponding region of PpDDXL suggests that they are highly conserved and share the same secondary structure. Moreover, overexpression of the VPg-binding region from either AtRH8 or PpDDXL suppresses potyvirus accumulation in infected N. benthamiana leaf tissues. Taken together, these data demonstrate that AtRH8, interacting with VPg, is a host factor required for the potyvirus infection process and that both AtRH8 and PpDDXL may be manipulated for the development of genetic resistance against potyvirus infections.


Tyng-Shyan Huang, Taiyun Wei, Jean-François Laliberté, Aiming Wang. A host RNA helicase-like protein, AtRH8, interacts with the potyviral genome-linked protein, VPg, associates with the virus accumulation complex, and is essential for infection. Plant physiology. 2010 Jan;152(1):255-66

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PMID: 19880609

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