Ancient class of translocated oomycete effectors targets the host nucleus

Sebastian Schornack, Mireille van Damme, Tolga O. Bozkurt, Liliana M. Cano, Matthew Smoker, Marco Thines, Elodie Gaulin, Sophien Kamoun (Lead / Corresponding author), Edgar Huitema (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    196 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Pathogens use specialized secretion systems and targeting signals to translocate effector proteins inside host cells, a process that is essential for promoting disease and parasitism. However, the amino acid sequences that determine host delivery of eukaryotic pathogen effectors remain mostly unknown. The Crinkler (CRN) proteins of oomycete plant pathogens, such as the Irish potato famine organism Phytophthora infestans, are modular proteins with predicted secretion signals and conserved N-terminal sequence motifs. Here, we provide direct evidence that CRN N termini mediate protein transport into plant cells. CRN host translocation requires a conserved motif that is present in all examined plant pathogenic oomycetes, including the phylogenetically divergent species Aphanomyces euteiches that does not form haustoria, specialized infection structures that have been implicated previously in delivery of effectors. Several distinct CRN C termini localized to plant nuclei and, in the case of CRN8, required nuclear accumulation to induce plant cell death. These results reveal a large family of ubiquitous oomycete effector proteins that target the host nucleus. Oomycetes appear to have acquired the ability to translocate effector proteins inside plant cells relatively early in their evolution and before the emergence of haustoria. Finally, this work further implicates the host nucleus as an important cellular compartment where the fate of plant-microbe interactions is determined.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)17421-17426
    Number of pages6
    JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
    Volume107
    Issue number40
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2010

    Keywords

    • plant immunity
    • Phytophthora
    • Crinklers
    • translocation
    • nuclear localization
    • FILAMENTOUS PLANT-PATHOGENS
    • PHYTOPHTHORA-INFESTANS
    • RXLR EFFECTORS
    • PROTEIN EXPORT
    • CELL-DEATH
    • DELIVERY
    • AVR3A
    • HYPERSENSITIVITY
    • TRANSCRIPTOME
    • EXPRESSION

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