Uptake of oomycete RXLR effectors into host cells by clathrin-mediated endocytosis

Haixia Wang, Shumei Wang, Wei Wang, Lin Xu, Lydia R. J. Welsh, Marek Gierlinski, Stephen Whisson, Piers Hemsley, Petra C. Boevink, Paul J. Birch (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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Filamentous (oomycete and fungal) plant pathogens deliver cytoplasmic effector proteins into host cells to facilitate disease. How RXLR effectors from the potato late blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans enter host cells is unknown. One possible route involves clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME). Transient silencing of NbCHC, encoding clathrin heavy chain, or the endosome marker gene NbAra6 encoding a Rab GTPase in the model host Nicotiana benthamiana, attenuated P. infestans infection and reduced translocation of RXLR effector fusions from transgenic pathogen strains into host cells. By contrast, silencing PP1c isoforms, susceptibility factors not required for endocytosis, reduced infection but did not attenuate RXLR effector uptake. Endosome enrichment by ultracentrifugation and sucrose gradient fractionation revealed co-localization of RXLR effector Pi04314-RFP with clathrin-coated vesicles. Immunopurification of clathrin- and NbAra6-associated vesicles during infection showed that RXLR effectors Pi04314-RFP and AvrBlb1-RFP, but not apoplastic effector PiSCR74-RFP, were co-immunoprecipitated during infection with pathogen strains secreting these effectors. Tandem mass spectrometry analyses of proteins co-immunoprecipitated with NbAra6-GFP during infection revealed enrichment of host proteins associated with endocytic vesicles alongside multiple pathogen RXLR effectors, but not apoplastic effectors, including PiSCR74, which do not enter host cells. Our data show that uptake of P. infestans RXLR effectors into plant cells occurs via CME.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2504–2526
Number of pages23
JournalThe Plant Cell
Issue number7
Early online date13 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • Phytophthora
  • effector
  • translocation
  • oomycete
  • RxLR
  • endocytosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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