Virology, Nebraska Center for



Feng Qu

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We have previously reported that TIP, an Arabidopsis protein, interacts with the coat protein (CP) of Turnip crinkle virus (TCV) in yeast cells and that this interaction correlated with the resistance response in the TCV-resistant Arabidopsis ecotype Dijon-17. TIP was also able to activate transcription of reporter genes in yeast cells, suggesting that it is likely a transcription factor. We have now verified the physical interaction between TIP and TCV CP in vitro and showed that CP mutants unable to interact with TIP in yeast cells bind TIP with much lower affinity in vitro. Secondly, we have performed gel shift experiments demonstrating that TIP does not bind to DNA in a sequence-specific manner. The subcellular localization of TIP was also investigated by transiently expressing green fluorescence protein (GFP)-tagged TIP in Nicotiana benthamiana plant cells, which showed that GFP-tagged TIP localizes primarily to nuclei. Significantly, co-expression of TCVCP and GFP-TIP prevented the nuclear localization of TIP. Together, these results suggest that TIP might be a transcription factor involved in regulating the defense response of Arabidopsis to TCV and that its normal role is compromised by interaction with the invading viral CP.

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