Europe, UK, Ireland, Pests and Diseases, Research, Studies/Reports

Structural basis for the multitasking nature of the potato virus Y coat protein

A large team of researchers at several institutions in Slovenia and the Czech Republic recently completed a study related to the potato virus Y coat protein. The researchers say that Potato virus Y (PVY) is among the most economically important plant pathogens.

Using cryoelectron microscopy, they determined the near-atomic structure of PVY’s flexuous virions, revealing a previously unknown lumenal interplay between extended carboxyl-terminal regions of the coat protein units and viral RNA.

 Structural features of PVY

RNA–coat protein interactions are crucial for the helical configuration and stability of the virion, as revealed by the unique near-atomic structure of RNA-free virus-like particles. The structures offer the first evidence for plasticity of the coat protein’s amino- and carboxyl-terminal regions.

Together with mutational analysis and in planta experiments, the scientists show their crucial role in PVY infectivity and explain the ability of the coat protein to perform multiple biological tasks.

Moreover, the high modularity of PVY virus-like particles suggests their potential as a new molecular scaffold for nanobiotechnological applications.

Read the extensive report on this work on ScienceAdvances here

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse

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