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At-4/1, an Interactor of the Tomato spotted wilt virus Movement Protein, Belongs to a New Family of Plant Proteins Capable of Directed Intra- and Intercellular Trafficking

    Authors and Affiliations
    • Martina Paape 1
    • Andrey G. Solovyev 2
    • Tatyana N. Erokhina 3
    • Elena A. Minina 3
    • Mikhail V. Schepetilnikov 2
    • Dietrich-E. Lesemann 4
    • Joachim Schiemann 4
    • Sergey Yu. Morozov 2
    • Jan-W. Kellmann 1

      Published Online:

      The Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) encoded NSm movement protein facilitates cell-to-cell spread of the viral genome through structurally modified plasmodesmata. NSm has been utilized as bait in yeast two-hybrid interaction trap screenings. As a result, a protein of unknown function, called At-4/1, was isolated from an Arabidopsis thaliana GAL4 activation domain-tagged cDNA library. Using poly-clonal antibodies against bacterially expressed At-4/1, Western blot analysis of protein extracts isolated from different plant species as well as genome database screenings showed that homologues of At-4/1 seemed to be encoded by many vascular plants. For subcellular localization studies, At-4/1 was fused to green fluorescent protein, and corresponding expression vectors were used in particle bombardment and agroinfiltration assays. Confocal laser scannings revealed that At-4/1 assembled in punctate spots at the cell periphery. The protein accumulated intracellularly in a polarized fashion, appearing in only one-half of a bombarded epidermal cell, and, moreover, moved from cell to cell, forming twin-structured bodies seemingly located at both orifices of the plasmodesmatal pore. In coexpression studies, At-4/1 colocalized with a plant virus movement protein TGBp3 known to reside in endoplasmic reticulum-derived membrane structures located in close vicinity to plasmodesmata. Thus, At-4/1 belongs to a new family of plant proteins capable of directed intra- and intercellular trafficking.