High affinity recognition of a Phytophthora protein by Arabidopsis via an RGD motif
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The RGD tripeptide sequence, a cell adhesion motif present in several extracellular matrix proteins of mammalians, is involved in numerous plant processes. In plant-pathogen interactions, the RGD motif is believed to reduce plant defence responses by disrupting adhesions between the cell wall and plasma membrane. Photoaffinity cross-linking of [125I]-azido-RGD heptapeptide in the presence of purified plasma membrane vesicles of Arabidopsis thaliana led to label incorporation into a single protein with an apparent molecular mass of 80 kDa. Incorporation could be prevented by excess RGD peptides, but also by the IPI-O protein, an RGD-containing protein secreted by the oomycete plant pathogen Phytophthora infestans. Hydrophobic cluster analysis revealed that the RGD motif of IPI-O (positions 53–56) is readily accessible for interactions. Single amino acid mutations in the RGD motif in IPI-O (of Asp56 into Glu or Ala) resulted in the loss of protection of the 80-kDa protein from labelling. Thus, the interaction between the two proteins is mediated through RGD recognition and the 80-kDa RGD-binding protein has the characteristics of a receptor for IPI-O. The IPI-O protein also disrupted cell wall-plasma membrane adhesions in plasmolysed A. thaliana cells, whereas IPI-O proteins mutated in the RGD motif (D56A and D56E) did not.
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