A plant RNA virus hijacks endocytic proteins to establish its infection in plants


Wu, G., Cui, X., Dai, Z., He, R., Li, Y., Yu, K., Bernards, M., Chen, X., Wang, A. (2020). A plant RNA virus hijacks endocytic proteins to establish its infection in plants. Plant Journal, [online] 101(2), 384-400. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tpj.14549

Plain language summary

To establish successful infection, viruses require many host factors. Identification of host factors may assist in the development of antiviral resistance through manipulation of the identified host factor. Here we report the identification of dynamin-related proteins as a novel host factor of potyviruses.


Endocytosis and endosomal trafficking play essential roles in diverse biological processes including responses to pathogen attack. It is well established that animal viruses enter host cells through receptor-mediated endocytosis for infection. However, the role of endocytosis in plant virus infection still largely remains unknown. Plant dynamin-related proteins 1 (DRP1) and 2 (DRP2) are the large, multidomain GTPases that participate together in endocytosis. Recently, we have discovered that DRP2 is co-opted by Turnip mosaic virus (TuMV) for infection in plants. We report here that DRP1 is also required for TuMV infection. We show that overexpression of DRP1 from Arabidopsis thaliana (AtDRP1A) promotes TuMV infection, and AtDRP1A interacts with several viral proteins including VPg and cylindrical inclusion (CI), which are the essential components of the virus replication complex (VRC). AtDRP1A colocalizes with the VRC in TuMV-infected cells. Transient expression of a dominant negative (DN) mutant of DRP1A disrupts DRP1-dependent endocytosis and supresses TuMV replication. As adaptor protein (AP) complexes mediate cargo selection for endocytosis, we further investigated the requirement of AP in TuMV infection. Our data suggest that the medium unit of the AP2 complex (AP2β) is responsible for recognizing the viral proteins as cargoes for endocytosis, and knockout of AP2β impairs intracellular endosomal trafficking of VPg and CI and inhibits TuMV replication. Collectively, our results demonstrate that DRP1 and AP2β are two proviral host factors of TuMV and shed light into the involvement of endocytosis and endosomal trafficking in plant virus infection.