Reticulon‐like properties of a plant virus movement protein

Plant viruses encode movement proteins (MPs) that ensure the transport of viral genomes through plasmodesmata (PD) and use cell endomembranes, mostly the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), for delivery of viral genomes to PD and formation of PD‐anchored virus replication compartments.
An International Joint Research Project (PICS-CNRS) performed in collaboration between Manfred Heinlein at IBMP and Andrey Solovyev at Moscow State University revealed that the Hibiscus green spot virus BMB2 MP, an integral ER protein, induces constrictions of ER tubules, decreases the mobility of ER luminal content, and exhibits an affinity to highly curved membranes. As reported in New Phytologist these properties are similar to those described for reticulons, cellular proteins that induce membrane curvature to shape the ER tubules. Similar properties are also shown for the TGB2 MP of Potato virus X, suggesting that reticulon‐like MPs are employed by diverse RNA viruses. MP-induced constriction of the ER membrane may facilitate viral movement through PD and may also play important roles in the formation of membrane-associated replication compartments.

Altered localization of luminal GFP in the presence of the BMB2 protein of Hibiscus ringspot virus.



Published on August 31, 2020 in New Phytologist