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1.  Myosins VIII and XI Play Distinct Roles in Reproduction and Transport of Tobacco Mosaic Virus 
PLoS Pathogens  2014;10(10):e1004448.
Viruses are obligatory parasites that depend on host cellular factors for their replication as well as for their local and systemic movement to establish infection. Although myosin motors are thought to contribute to plant virus infection, their exact roles in the specific infection steps have not been addressed. Here we investigated the replication, cell-to-cell and systemic spread of Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) using dominant negative inhibition of myosin activity. We found that interference with the functions of three class VIII myosins and two class XI myosins significantly reduced the local and long-distance transport of the virus. We further determined that the inactivation of myosins XI-2 and XI-K affected the structure and dynamic behavior of the ER leading to aggregation of the viral movement protein (MP) and to a delay in the MP accumulation in plasmodesmata (PD). The inactivation of myosin XI-2 but not of myosin XI-K affected the localization pattern of the 126k replicase subunit and the level of TMV accumulation. The inhibition of myosins VIII-1, VIII-2 and VIII-B abolished MP localization to PD and caused its retention at the plasma membrane. These results suggest that class XI myosins contribute to the viral propagation and intracellular trafficking, whereas myosins VIII are specifically required for the MP targeting to and virus movement through the PD. Thus, TMV appears to recruit distinct myosins for different steps in the cell-to-cell spread of the infection.
Author Summary
Viruses are parasites that require the host cell machinery for their propagation within and between cells. Myosins are molecular motors involved in the trafficking of cargos along actin filaments. Plant viruses have evolved to borrow this transport mechanism to aid their infection and spread within the plant. However, little is known about which of the many plant myosins are essential and at which specific steps they act to support virus infection. Here we investigated the role of different N. benthamiana myosins during the infection by Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV). Our results show that class XI myosins play specific roles in the reproduction and intracellular movement of TMV in association with the dynamic endoplasmic reticulum network, whereas class VIII myosins support the specific targeting of the viral movement protein to plasmodesmata and thus the cell-to-cell movement of the virus. Together these results indicate that TMV interacts with distinct myosins during specific infection steps.
PMCID: PMC4199776  PMID: 25329993
2.  CDC48 function during TMV infection 
Plant Signaling & Behavior  2012;8(2):e22865.
Cell-division-cycle protein 48 (CDC48) is an essential, conserved ATP-driven chaperone in eukaryotic cells, which functions in diverse cellular processes including the targeting of misfolded and aggregated proteins for degradation via proteasomal and aggresomal-autophagic pathways. We recently demonstrated that plant CDC48 localizes to and interacts with Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) movement protein (MP) in ER-associated viral protein inclusions. Our data suggest that CDC48 participates in the clearance of these viral protein inclusions in an ER-assisted protein degradation (ERAD)-like mechanism. As TMV MP-inclusions formed at late infection stages resemble aggresomes, we here propose that TMV MP enters both, ERAD-like and aggresomal pathways in its host cells and that CDC48 coordinates these processes. Moreover, as viruses often exploit host pathways for replication and spread, we propose a model in which CDC48 functions in the degradation pathway of overaccumulating viral protein and also actively participates in the regulation of TMV replication and cell-to-cell movement. 
PMCID: PMC3656987  PMID: 23154510
Tobacco mosaic virus; ER-assisted protein degradation; aggresome; endoplasmic reticulum; microtubules; protein inclusion; replication complex; virus infection
3.  Manipulation of Plant Host Susceptibility: An Emerging Role for Viral Movement Proteins? 
Viruses encode viral suppressors of RNA silencing (VSRs) to counteract RNA silencing, a major antiviral defense response in plants. Recent studies indicate a role of virus-derived siRNAs in manipulating the expression of specific host genes and that certain plant viral movement proteins (MPs) can act as viral enhancers of RNA silencing (VERs) by stimulating the spread of silencing between cells. This suggests that viruses have evolved complex responses capable to efficiently hijack the host RNA silencing machinery to their own advantage. We draw here a dynamic model of the interaction of plant viruses with the silencing machinery during invasion of the host. The model proposes that cells at the spreading front of infection, where infection starts from zero and the VSR levels are supposedly low, represent potential sites for viral manipulation of host gene expression by using virus- and host-derived small RNAs. Viral MPs may facilitate the spread of silencing to produce a wave of small RNA-mediated gene expression changes ahead of the infection to increase host susceptibility. When experimentally ascertained, this hypothetical model will call for re-defining viral movement and the function of viral MPs.
PMCID: PMC3355624  PMID: 22639637
RNA silencing; silencing suppressor; silencing enhancer; host:pathogen interactions; viruses; miRNA; siRNA; Tobacco mosaic virus
4.  Tubule-Guided Cell-to-Cell Movement of a Plant Virus Requires Class XI Myosin Motors 
PLoS Pathogens  2011;7(10):e1002327.
Cell-to-cell movement of plant viruses occurs via plasmodesmata (PD), organelles that evolved to facilitate intercellular communications. Viral movement proteins (MP) modify PD to allow passage of the virus particles or nucleoproteins. This passage occurs via several distinct mechanisms one of which is MP-dependent formation of the tubules that traverse PD and provide a conduit for virion translocation. The MP of tubule-forming viruses including Grapevine fanleaf virus (GFLV) recruit the plant PD receptors called Plasmodesmata Located Proteins (PDLP) to mediate tubule assembly and virus movement. Here we show that PDLP1 is transported to PD through a specific route within the secretory pathway in a myosin-dependent manner. This transport relies primarily on the class XI myosins XI-K and XI-2. Inactivation of these myosins using dominant negative inhibition results in mislocalization of PDLP and MP and suppression of GFLV movement. We also found that the proper targeting of specific markers of the Golgi apparatus, the plasma membrane, PD, lipid raft subdomains within the plasma membrane, and the tonoplast was not affected by myosin XI-K inhibition. However, the normal tonoplast dynamics required myosin XI-K activity. These results reveal a new pathway of the myosin-dependent protein trafficking to PD that is hijacked by GFLV to promote tubule-guided transport of this virus between plant cells.
Author Summary
To establish infection, plant viruses spread cell-to-cell via narrow channels in the cell wall, the plasmodesmata (PD). Movement proteins (MP) are virus-encoded proteins essential for virus intercellular transport through PD. Plasmodesmata located plant proteins (PDLPs), are specifically recognised by the MPs of tubule-forming viruses. Here we show that PDLP targeting to PD depends on the molecular motors myosin XI-K and XI-2. Consistently, and in support of a function of PDLP as PD receptor for MP, overexpression of dominant negative myosin mutants inhibits tubule formation by Grapevine fanleaf virus (GFLV) MP and dramatically reduces virus movement.
PMCID: PMC3203191  PMID: 22046131
5.  A Family of Plasmodesmal Proteins with Receptor-Like Properties for Plant Viral Movement Proteins 
PLoS Pathogens  2010;6(9):e1001119.
Plasmodesmata (PD) are essential but poorly understood structures in plant cell walls that provide symplastic continuity and intercellular communication pathways between adjacent cells and thus play fundamental roles in development and pathogenesis. Viruses encode movement proteins (MPs) that modify these tightly regulated pores to facilitate their spread from cell to cell. The most striking of these modifications is observed for groups of viruses whose MPs form tubules that assemble in PDs and through which virions are transported to neighbouring cells. The nature of the molecular interactions between viral MPs and PD components and their role in viral movement has remained essentially unknown. Here, we show that the family of PD-located proteins (PDLPs) promotes the movement of viruses that use tubule-guided movement by interacting redundantly with tubule-forming MPs within PDs. Genetic disruption of this interaction leads to reduced tubule formation, delayed infection and attenuated symptoms. Our results implicate PDLPs as PD proteins with receptor-like properties involved the assembly of viral MPs into tubules to promote viral movement.
Author Summary
In plants, spreading virus infection occurs via small pores in the cell wall named plasmodesmata that connect adjacent cells. Two decades have passed since the first discovery of specific viral proteins (movement proteins; MP) that assist this process. However, the manner by which these proteins adapt plasmodesmata to allow the movement of relatively large viral structures remains largely unknown. Here, we show that a family of plasmodesmata-located proteins, called PDLPs, which are conserved amongst higher plants, specifically mediate this process. PDLPs bind classes of MP that assemble into tubules within plasmodesmata to promote the movement of entire virions. This class of MP occurs for a diverse range of plant virus genera and we show that representatives of these viruses have MPs that bind PDLPs. The importance of PDLPs in this process was shown when reduction in accumulation led to reduced tubule formation, delayed infection and attenuated symptoms. Altogether, our study supports a scenario whereby the PDLPs work together to support virus infection of plants and as such provide important mechanistic insights into the movement mechanism of plant viruses within their hosts.
PMCID: PMC2944810  PMID: 20886105

Results 1-5 (5)