The role of the p33:p33/p92 interaction domain in RNA replication and intracellular localization of p33 and p92 proteins of Cucumber necrosis tombusvirus

Tadas Panavas, Cecily M. Hawkins, Zivile Panaviene, Peter D. Nagy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations


Replication of plus-stranded RNA viruses is performed by the viral replicase complex, which, together with the viral RNA, must be targeted to intracellular membranes, where replication takes place in membraneous vesicles/spherules. Tombusviruses code for two overlapping replication proteins, the p33 auxiliary protein and the p92 polymerase. Using replication-competent fluorescent protein-tagged p33 of Cucumber necrosis virus (CNV), we determined that two domains affected p33 targeting to peroxisomal membranes in yeast: an N-proximal hydrophobic trans-membrane sequence and the C-proximal p33:p33/p92 interaction domain. On the contrary, only the deletion of the p33:p33/p92 interaction domain, but not the trans-membrane sequence, altered the intracellular targeting of p92 protein in the presence of wt p33 and DI-72(+) RNA. Moreover, unlike p33, p92 lacking the trans-membrane sequence was still functional in supporting the replication of a replicon RNA in yeast, whereas the p33:p33/p92 interaction domain in both p33 and p92 was essential for replication. In addition, p33 was also shown to facilitate the recruitment of the viral RNA to peroxisomal membranes and that p33 is colocalized with (+) and (-)-stranded viral RNAs. Also, FRET and pull-down analyses confirmed that p33 interacts with other p33 molecules in yeast cells. Based on these data, we propose that p33 facilitates the formation of multimolecular complexes, including p33, p92, viral RNA, and unidentified host factors, which are then targeted to the peroxisomal membranes, the sites of CNV replication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-95
Number of pages15
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 20 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Drs. Judit Pogany and Saulius Serva for valuable comments and Dr. Michael Goodin for technical support on using epifluorescense microscopy. We are grateful to Drs. Von-Ki Huh, Robert H. Singer, Atsushi Miyawaki, and David W. Piston for plasmids and yeast strains (see Materials and methods ). This work was supported by NIH and the Kentucky Tobacco Research and Development Center. This study is Publication No. 03-12-050 of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station.


  • Localization
  • Peroxisome
  • RNA detection
  • RdRp
  • Replication
  • Tombusvirus
  • Yeast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


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