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      Intracellular Transport of Plant Viruses: Finding the Door out of the Cell


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          Plant viruses are a class of plant pathogens that specialize in movement from cell to cell. As part of their arsenal for infection of plants, every virus encodes a movement protein (MP), a protein dedicated to enlarging the pore size of plasmodesmata (PD) and actively transporting the viral nucleic acid into the adjacent cell. As our knowledge of intercellular transport has increased, it has become apparent that viruses must also use an active mechanism to target the virus from their site of replication within the cell to the PD. Just as viruses are too large to fit through an unmodified plasmodesma, they are also too large to be freely diffused through the cytoplasm of the cell. Evidence has accumulated now for the involvement of other categories of viral proteins in intracellular movement in addition to the MP, including viral proteins originally associated with replication or gene expression. In this review, we will discuss the strategies that viruses use for intracellular movement from the replication site to the PD, in particular focusing on the role of host membranes for intracellular transport and the coordinated interactions between virus proteins within cells that are necessary for successful virus spread.

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          Cytoarchitecture and physical properties of cytoplasm: volume, viscosity, diffusion, intracellular surface area.

          Classical biochemistry is founded on several assumptions valid in dilute aqueous solutions that are often extended without question to the interior milieu of intact cells. In the first section of this chapter, we present these assumptions and briefly examine the ways in which the cell interior may depart from the conditions of an ideal solution. In the second section, we summarize experimental evidence regarding the physical properties of the cell cytoplasm and their effect on the diffusion and binding of macromolecules and vesicles. While many details remain to be worked out, it is clear that the aqueous phase of the cytoplasm is crowded rather than dilute, and that the diffusion and partitioning of macromolecules and vesicles in cytoplasm is highly restricted by steric hindrance as well as by unexpected binding interactions. Furthermore, the enzymes of several metabolic pathways are now known to be organized into structural and functional units with specific localizations in the solid phase, and as much as half the cellular protein content may also be in the solid phase.
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            Remorin, a solanaceae protein resident in membrane rafts and plasmodesmata, impairs potato virus X movement.

            Remorins (REMs) are proteins of unknown function specific to vascular plants. We have used imaging and biochemical approaches and in situ labeling to demonstrate that REM clusters at plasmodesmata and in approximately 70-nm membrane domains, similar to lipid rafts, in the cytosolic leaflet of the plasma membrane. From a manipulation of REM levels in transgenic tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) plants, we show that Potato virus X (PVX) movement is inversely related to REM accumulation. We show that REM can interact physically with the movement protein TRIPLE GENE BLOCK PROTEIN1 from PVX. Based on the localization of REM and its impact on virus macromolecular trafficking, we discuss the potential for lipid rafts to act as functional components in plasmodesmata and the plasma membrane.
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              Ara6, a plant-unique novel type Rab GTPase, functions in the endocytic pathway of Arabidopsis thaliana.

              Ara6 of Arabidopsis thaliana is a novel member of the Rab/Ypt GTPase family with unique structural features. It resembles Rab5 GTPases best, but lacks a large part of the C-terminal hypervariable region and the cysteine motif, and instead harbors an extra stretch of amino acid residues containing myristoylation and palmitoylation sites at the N-terminus. Ara6 is tightly associated with membranes and is expressed constitutively. In contrast, the conventional Rab5 ortholog, Ara7, is highly expressed only in actively dividing cells. Examination of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged proteins indicates that both Ara6 and Ara7 are distributed on a subpopulation of endosomes and suggests their roles in endosomal fusion. The endosomal localization of Ara6 requires N-terminal fatty acylation, nucleotide binding and the C-terminal amino acid sequence coordinately. Proteins similar to Ara6 are found only in higher plants and thus represent a novel class of Rab GTPases regulating endocytic function in a plant- specific manner.

                Author and article information

                Mol Plant
                Molecular Plant
                Oxford University Press
                September 2011
                5 September 2011
                5 September 2011
                : 4
                : 5
                : 813-831
                [a ]Division of Plant Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
                [b ]Department of Biology, Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, KS 66762, USA
                [c ]Plant Biology Division, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc., Ardmore, OK 73401, USA
                Author notes
                [1 ]To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail rsnelson@ 123456noble.org , tel. (580) 224-6625, fax (580) 224-6692.
                © The Author 2011. Published by the Molecular Plant Shanghai Editorial Office in association with Oxford University Press on behalf of CSPB and IPPE, SIBS, CAS.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 24 May 2011
                : 18 July 2011
                Review Articles

                Plant science & Botany
                macromolecular trafficking,plasmodesmata,membrane biology,plant–virus interactions,membrane proteins,movement proteins


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