Coat Protein of Cassava Common Mosaic Virus Targets RAV1 and RAV2 Transcription Factors to Subvert Immunity in Cassava
Published:22 Nov.2023    Source:Plant Physiology
Cassava common mosaic virus (CsCMV, genus Potexvirus) is a prevalent virus associated with cassava mosaic disease, so it is essential to elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms of the coevolutionary arms race between viral pathogenesis and the cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) defense response. However, the molecular mechanism underlying CsCMV infection is largely unclear.
Here, we revealed that coat protein (CP) acts as a major pathogenicity determinant of CsCMV via a mutant infectious clone. Moreover, we identified the target proteins of CP- Related to abscisic acid insensitive3 (ABI3)/viviparous1 (VP1) (MeRAV1) and MeRAV2 transcription factors, which positively regulated disease resistance against CsCMV via transcriptional activation of melatonin biosynthetic genes (tryptophan decarboxylase 2 (MeTDC2), tryptamine 5-hydroxylase (MeT5H), N-aceylserotonin O-methyltransferase 1 (MeASMT1)) and MeCatalase6 (MeCAT6) and MeCAT7.
Notably, the interaction between CP, MeRAV1 and MeRAV2 interfered with the protein phosphorylation of MeRAV1 and MeRAV2 individually at Ser45 and Ser44 by the protein kinase, thereby weakening the transcriptional activation activity of MeRAV1 and MeRAV2 on melatonin biosynthetic genes, MeCAT6 and MeCAT7 dependent on the protein phosphorylation of MeRAV1 and MeRAV2. Taken together, the identification of the CP-MeRAV1 and CP-MeRAV2 interaction module not only illustrates a molecular mechanism by which CsCMV orchestrates the host defense system to benefit its infection and development but also provides a gene network with potential value for the genetic improvement of cassava disease resistance.