Revisiting the cysteine-rich proteins encoded in the 3’-proximal open reading frame of the positive-sense single-stranded RNA of some monopartite filamentous plant viruses: functional dissection of p15 from grapevine virus B

Patrizia Serra, Salvatore Davino, Susana Ruiz-Ruiz, Salvatore Davino, Javier Forment, Ricardo Flores, Pedro Serra

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A reexamination of proteins with conserved cysteines and basic amino acids encoded by the 3′-proximal gene of the positive-sense single-stranded RNA of some monopartite filamentous plant viruses has been carried out. The cysteines are involved in a putative Zn-finger domain, which, together with the basic amino acids, form part of the nuclear or nucleolar localization signals. An in-depth study of one of these proteins, p15 from grapevine B virus (GVB), has shown: (i) a three-dimensional structure with four α-helices predicted by two independent in silico approaches, (ii) the nucleolus as the main accumulation site by applying confocal laser microscopy to a fusion between p15 and the green fluorescent protein, (iii) the involvement of the basic amino acids and the putative Zn-finger domain, mapping at the N-terminal region of p15, in the nucleolar localization signal, as revealed by the effect of six alanine substitution mutations, (iv) the p15 suppressor function of sense-mediated RNA silencing as revealed by agroinfiltration in a transgenic line of Nicotiana benthamiana, and (v) the enhancer activity of p15 on viral pathogenicity in N. benthamiana when expressed from a potato virus X vector. In addition, we elaborate on an evolutionary scenario for these filamentous viruses, invoking takeover by a common ancestor(s) of viral or host genes coding for those cysteine-rich proteins, followed by divergence, which would also explain why they are encoded in the 3′-proximal gene of the genomic single-stranded viral RNA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2229-2239
Number of pages11
JournalArchives of Virology
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Virology

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