Discovery of a Small Non-AUG-Initiated ORF in Poleroviruses and Luteoviruses That Is Required for Long-Distance Movement


In order to maximize coding capacity, RNA viruses often encode overlapping genes and use unusual translational control mechanisms. Plant viruses express proteins required for movement of the virus through the plant, often from non-canonically translated open reading frames (ORFs). Viruses in the economically important Luteoviridae family are confined to the phloem (vascular) tissue, probably due to their specialized phloem-specific movement proteins. These proteins are translated from one viral mRNA, sgRNA1, via initiation at more than one AUG codon to express overlapping genes, and by ribosomal read-through of a stop codon. Here, we describe yet another gene translated from sgRNA1, ORF3a. Translation of ORF3a initiates at a non-standard (not AUG) start codon. We found that ORF3a is not required for viral genome replication, but is required for long-distance movement of the virus in the plant. The movement function could be restored in trans by providing the ORF3a product, P3a, from another viral or plasmid vector. P3a localizes in the Golgi apparatus and adjacent to the plasmodesmata, supporting a role in intercellular movement. In summary, we used a powerful bioinformatic tool to discover a cryptic gene whose product is required for movement of a phloem-specific plant virus, revealing multiple levels of translational control that regulate expression of four proteins from a single mRNA.


Vyšlo v časopise: Discovery of a Small Non-AUG-Initiated ORF in Poleroviruses and Luteoviruses That Is Required for Long-Distance Movement. PLoS Pathog 11(5): e32767. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1004868
Kategorie: Research Article
prolekare.web.journal.doi_sk: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004868

Souhrn

In order to maximize coding capacity, RNA viruses often encode overlapping genes and use unusual translational control mechanisms. Plant viruses express proteins required for movement of the virus through the plant, often from non-canonically translated open reading frames (ORFs). Viruses in the economically important Luteoviridae family are confined to the phloem (vascular) tissue, probably due to their specialized phloem-specific movement proteins. These proteins are translated from one viral mRNA, sgRNA1, via initiation at more than one AUG codon to express overlapping genes, and by ribosomal read-through of a stop codon. Here, we describe yet another gene translated from sgRNA1, ORF3a. Translation of ORF3a initiates at a non-standard (not AUG) start codon. We found that ORF3a is not required for viral genome replication, but is required for long-distance movement of the virus in the plant. The movement function could be restored in trans by providing the ORF3a product, P3a, from another viral or plasmid vector. P3a localizes in the Golgi apparatus and adjacent to the plasmodesmata, supporting a role in intercellular movement. In summary, we used a powerful bioinformatic tool to discover a cryptic gene whose product is required for movement of a phloem-specific plant virus, revealing multiple levels of translational control that regulate expression of four proteins from a single mRNA.


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