1887

Abstract

As a member of the newly established family, grapevine rupestris stem pitting-associated virus (GRSPaV) has an RNA genome containing five ORFs. ORF1 encodes a putative replicase polyprotein typical of the alphavirus superfamily of positive-strand ssRNA viruses. Several viruses of this superfamily have been demonstrated to replicate in structures designated viral replication complexes associated with intracellular membranes. However, structure and cellular localization of the replicase complex have not been studied for members of , a family of mostly woody plant viruses. As a first step towards the elucidation of the replication complex of GRSPaV, we investigated the subcellular localization of full-length and truncated versions of its replicase polyprotein via fluorescent tagging, followed by fluorescence microscopy. We found that the replicase polyprotein formed distinctive punctate bodies in both leaf cells and tobacco protoplasts. We further mapped a region of 76 amino acids in the methyl-transferase domain responsible for the formation of these punctate structures. The punctate structures are distributed in close proximity to the endoplasmic reticulum network. Membrane flotation and biochemical analyses demonstrate that the N-terminal region responsible for punctate structure formation associated with cellular membrane is likely through an amphipathic α helix serving as an in-plane anchor. The identity of this membrane is yet to be determined. This is, to our knowledge, the first report on the localization and membrane association of the replicase proteins of a member of the family .

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2015-04-01
2022-01-24
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