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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The tubule-forming NSm protein from Tomato spotted wilt virus complements cell-to-cell and long-distance movement of Tobacco mosaic virus hybrids.

A Florida isolate of Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) was able to complement cell-to-cell movement of a movement-defective Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) vector expressing the jellyfish green fluorescent protein (GFP). To test for complementation of movement in the absence of other TSWV proteins, the open reading frame for the NSm protein was expressed from TMV constructs encoding only the TMV replicase proteins. NSm was expressed from either the coat protein or movement protein subgenomic promoter, creating virus hybrids that moved cell to cell in inoculated leaves of tobacco, providing the first functional demonstration that NSm is the TSWV movement protein. Furthermore, these CP-deficient hybrids moved into upper leaves of Nicotiana benthamiana, demonstrating that NSm can support long-distance movement of viral RNAs. Tubules, characteristic of the NSm protein, were also formed in tobacco protoplasts infected with the TMV-TSWV hybrids. The C-terminus of the NSm protein was shown to be required for movement. TMV-TSWV hybrids expressing NSm and GFP moved within inoculated leaves. Our combination of single-cell and intact plant experiments to examine multiple functions of a heterologous viral protein provides a generalized strategy with wider application to other viruses also lacking a reverse genetic system.[1]


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