The putative Agrobacterium transcriptional activator-like virulence protein VirD5 may target T-complex to prevent the degradation of coat proteins in the plant cell nucleus
- Agrobacterium exports at least five virulence proteins (VirE2, VirE3, VirF, VirD2, VirD5) into host cells and hijacks some host plant factors to facilitate its transformation process.
- Random DNA binding selection assays (RDSAs), electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs) and yeast one-hybrid systems were used to identify protein-bound DNA elements. Bimolecular fluorescence complementation, glutathione S-transferase pull-down and yeast two-hybrid assays were used to detect protein interactions. Protoplast transformation, coprecipitation, competitive binding and cell-free degradation assays were used to analyze the relationships among proteins.
- We found that Agrobacterium VirD5 exhibits transcriptional activation activity in yeast, is located in the plant cell nucleus, and forms homodimers. A specific VirD5-bound DNA element designated D5RE (VirD5 response element) was identified. VirD5 interacted directly with Arabidopsis VirE2 Interacting Protein 1 (AtVIP1). However, the ternary complex of VirD5–AtVIP1–VirE2 could be detected, whereas that of VirD5–AtVIP1–VBF (AtVIP1 Binding F-box protein) could not. We demonstrated that VirD5 competes with VBF for binding to AtVIP1 and stabilizes AtVIP1 and VirE2 in the cell-free degradation system.
- Our results indicated that VirD5 may act as both a transcriptional activator-like effector to regulate host gene expression and a protector preventing the coat proteins of the T-complex from being quickly degraded by the host's ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS).