A Lysine Residue Essential for Geminivirus Replication Also Controls Nuclear Localization of the Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus Rep Protein.


Geminiviruses are single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) viruses that infect a wide range of plants. To promote viral replication, geminiviruses manipulate the host cell cycle. The viral protein Rep is essential to reprogram the cell cycle and then initiate viral DNA replication by interacting with a plethora of nuclear host factors. Even though many protein domains of Rep have been characterized, little is known about its nuclear targeting. Here, we show that one conserved lysine in the N-terminal part of Rep is pivotal for nuclear localization of the Rep protein from Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), with two other lysines also contributing to its nuclear import. Previous work had identified that these residues are essential for Rep from Tomato golden mosaic virus (TGMV) to interact with the E2 SUMO-conjugating enzyme (SCE1). We here show that mutating these lysines leads to nuclear exclusion of TYLCV Rep without compromising its interaction with SCE1. Moreover, the ability of TYLCV Rep to promote viral DNA replication also depends on this highly conserved lysine independently of its role in nuclear import of Rep. Our data thus reveal that this lysine potentially has a broad role in geminivirus replication, but its role in nuclear import and SCE1 binding differs depending on the Rep protein examined.IMPORTANCE Nuclear activity of the replication initiator protein (Rep) of geminiviruses is essential for viral replication. We now define that one highly conserved lysine is important for nuclear import of Rep from three different begomoviruses. To our knowledge, this is the first time that nuclear localization has been mapped for any geminiviral Rep protein. Our data add another key function to this lysine residue, besides its roles in viral DNA replication and interaction with host factors, such as the SUMO E2-conjugating enzyme.





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Publication Info

Maio, Francesca, Manuel Arroyo-Mateos, Benjamin G Bobay, Eduardo R Bejarano, Marcel Prins and Harrold A van den Burg (2019). A Lysine Residue Essential for Geminivirus Replication Also Controls Nuclear Localization of the Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus Rep Protein. Journal of virology, 93(10). pp. e01910–e01918. 10.1128/jvi.01910-18 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/28912.

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Benjamin Bobay

Assistant Professor in Radiology

I am the Assistant Director of the Duke University NMR Center and an Assistant Professor in the Duke Radiology Department. I was originally trained as a structural biochemist with an emphasis on utilizing NMR and continue to use this technique daily helping collaborators characterize protein structures and small molecules through a diverse set of NMR experiments. Through the structural characterization of various proteins, from both planta and eukaryotes, I have developed a robust protocol of utilizing computational biology for describing binding events, mutations, post-translations modifications (PTMs), and/or general behavior within in silico solution scenarios. I have utilized these techniques in collaborations ranging from plant pathologists at the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences department at the University of Amsterdam to biomedical engineers at North Carolina State University to professors in the Pediatrics department at Duke University. These studies have centered around the structural and functional consequences of PTMs (such as phosphorylation), mutation events, truncation of multi-domain proteins, dimer pulling experiments, to screening of large databases of ligands for potential binding events. Through this combination of NMR and computational biology I have amassed 50 peer-reviewed published articles and countless roles on scientific projects, as well as the development of several tutorials concerning the creation of ligand databases and high-throughput screening of large databases utilizing several different molecular dynamic and computational docking programs.

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