PLOS PATHOGENS: Tomato leaf curl Yunnan virus-encoded C4 induces cell division through enhancing stability of Cyclin D 1.1 via impairing NbSKη-mediated phosphorylation in Nicotiana benthamiana



The whitefly-transmitted geminiviruses induce severe developmental abnormalities in plants. Geminivirus-encoded C4 protein functions as one of viral symptom determinants that could induce abnormal cell division. However, the molecular mechanism by which C4 contributes to cell division induction remains unclear. Here we report that tomato leaf curl Yunnan virus (TLCYnV) C4 interacts with a glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3)/SHAGGY-like kinase, designed NbSKη, in Nicotiana benthamiana. Pro32, Asn34 and Thr35 of TLCYnV C4 are critical for its interaction with NbSKη and required for C4-induced typical symptoms. Interestingly, TLCYnV C4 directs NbSKη to the membrane and reduces the nuclear-accumulation of NbSKη. The relocalization of NbSKη impairs phosphorylation dependent degradation on its substrate-Cyclin D1.1 (NbCycD1;1), thereby increasing the accumulation level of NbCycD1;1 and inducing the cell division. Moreover, NbSKη-RNAi35S::NbCycD1;1 transgenic Nbenthamianaplants have the similar phenotype as 35S::C4 transgenic Nbenthamiana plants on callus-like tissue formation resulted from abnormal cell division induction. Thus, this study provides new insights into mechanism of how a viral protein hijacks NbSKη to induce abnormal cell division in plants.


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