1887

Abstract

The 63 kDa ‘63K’ movement protein encoded by the triple gene block of poa semilatent virus (PSLV) comprises the C-terminal NTPase/helicase domain and the N-terminal extension domain, which contains two positively charged sequence motifs, A and B. In this study, the RNA-binding properties of PSLV 63K and its mutants were analysed. Membrane-immobilized 63K and N-63K (isolated N-terminal extension domain) bound RNA at high NaCl concentrations. In contrast, C-63K (isolated NTPase/helicase domain) was able to bind RNA only at NaCl concentrations of up to 50 mM. In gel-shift assays, C-63K bound RNA to form complexes that were unable to enter an agarose gel, whereas complexes formed by N-63K could enter the gel. Full-length 63K formed both types of complexes. Visualization of the RNA–protein complexes formed by 63K, N-63K and C-63K by atomic force microscopy demonstrated that each complex had a different shape. Collectively, these data indicate that 63K has two distinct RNA-binding activities associated with the NTPase/helicase domain and the N-terminal extension domain. Mutations in either of the positively charged sequence motifs A and B had little effect on the RNA binding of the N-terminal extension domain, whereas mutations in both motifs together inhibited RNA binding. Hybrid viruses with mutations in motifs A and B were able to infect inoculated leaves of plants, but were unable to move systemically to uninoculated leaves, suggesting that the RNA-binding activity of the N-terminal extension domain of PSLV 63K is associated with virus long-distance movement.

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2001-10-01
2019-10-21
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