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Research article2013Peer reviewedOpen access

The Xanthomonas campestris Type III Effector XopJ Targets the Host Cell Proteasome to Suppress Salicylic-Acid Mediated Plant Defence

Ustun, Suayib; Bartetzko, Verena; Boernke, Frederik


The phytopathogenic bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria (Xcv) requires type III effector proteins (T3Es) for virulence. After translocation into the host cell, T3Es are thought to interact with components of host immunity to suppress defence responses. XopJ is a T3E protein from Xcv that interferes with plant immune responses; however, its host cellular target is unknown. Here we show that XopJ interacts with the proteasomal subunit RPT6 in yeast and in planta to inhibit proteasome activity. A C235A mutation within the catalytic triad of XopJ as well as a G2A exchange within the N-terminal myristoylation motif abolishes the ability of XopJ to inhibit the proteasome. Xcv Delta xopJ mutants are impaired in growth and display accelerated symptom development including tissue necrosis on susceptible pepper leaves. Application of the proteasome inhibitor MG132 restored the ability of the Xcv DxopJ to attenuate the development of leaf necrosis. The XopJ dependent delay of tissue degeneration correlates with reduced levels of salicylic acid (SA) and changes in defence- and senescence-associated gene expression. Necrosis upon infection with Xcv DxopJ was greatly reduced in pepper plants with reduced expression of NPR1, a central regulator of SA responses, demonstrating the involvement of SA-signalling in the development of XopJ dependent phenotypes. Our results suggest that XopJ-mediated inhibition of the proteasome interferes with SA-dependent defence response to attenuate onset of necrosis and to alter host transcription. A central role of the proteasome in plant defence is discussed.

Published in

2013, Volume: 9, number: 6, article number: e1003427

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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