1887

Abstract

Helper component proteinase (HC-Pro) of is a multifunctional potyvirus protein that has been examined intensively. In addition to its involvement in aphid transmission, genome amplification and long-distance movement, it is also one of the better-studied plant virus suppressors of RNA silencing. The first systematic analysis using pentapeptide-insertion scanning mutagenesis of the silencing suppression function of a potyvirus HC-Pro is presented here. Sixty-three in-frame insertion mutants, each containing five extra amino acids inserted randomly within the HC-Pro protein, were analysed for their ability to suppress transgene-induced RNA silencing using infiltration in transgenic plants expressing green fluorescent protein. A functional map was obtained, consisting of clearly defined regions with different classes of silencing-suppression activity (wild-type, restricted and disabled). This map confirmed that the N-terminal part of the protein, which is indispensable for aphid transmission, is dispensable for silencing suppression and supports the involvement of the central region in silencing suppression, in addition to its role in maintenance of genome amplification and synergism with other viruses. Moreover, evidence is provided that the C-terminal part of the protein, previously known to be necessary mainly for proteolytic activity, also participates in silencing suppression. Pentapeptide-insertion scanning mutagenesis has been shown to be a fast and powerful tool to functionally characterize plant virus proteins.

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2007-03-01
2019-11-21
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