Involvement of the chloroplastic isoform of tRNA ligase in the replication of viroids belonging to the family Avsunviroidae.

Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas-Universidad Politécnica de Valencia), Valencia, Spain.
Journal of Virology (Impact Factor: 5.08). 05/2012; 86(15):8269-76. DOI:10.1128/JVI.00629-12
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Avocado sunblotch viroid, peach latent mosaic viroid, chrysanthemum chlorotic mottle viroid, and eggplant latent viroid (ELVd), the four recognized members of the family Avsunviroidae, replicate through the symmetric pathway of an RNA-to-RNA rolling-circle mechanism in chloroplasts of infected cells. Viroid oligomeric transcripts of both polarities contain embedded hammerhead ribozymes that, during replication, mediate their self-cleavage to monomeric-length RNAs with 5'-hydroxyl and 2',3'-phosphodiester termini that are subsequently circularized. We report that a recombinant version of the chloroplastic isoform of the tRNA ligase from eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) efficiently catalyzes in vitro circularization of the plus [(+)] and minus [(-)] monomeric linear replication intermediates from the four Avsunviroidae. We also show that while this RNA ligase specifically recognizes the genuine monomeric linear (+) ELVd replication intermediate, it does not do so with five other monomeric linear (+) ELVd RNAs with their ends mapping at different sites along the molecule, despite containing the same 5'-hydroxyl and 2',3'-phosphodiester terminal groups. Moreover, experiments involving transient expression of a dimeric (+) ELVd transcript in Nicotiana benthamiana Domin plants preinoculated with a tobacco rattle virus-derived vector to induce silencing of the plant endogenous tRNA ligase show a significant reduction of ELVd circularization. In contrast, circularization of a viroid replicating in the nucleus occurring through a different pathway is unaffected. Together, these results support the conclusion that the chloroplastic isoform of the plant tRNA ligase is the host enzyme mediating circularization of both (+) and (-) monomeric linear intermediates during replication of the viroids belonging to the family Avsunviroidae.

0 0
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Viroids are plant-pathogenic non-coding RNAs able to interfere with as yet poorly known host-regulatory pathways and to cause alterations recognized as diseases. The way in which these RNAs coerce the host to express symptoms remains to be totally deciphered. In recent years, diverse studies have proposed a close interplay between viroid-induced pathogenesis and RNA silencing, supporting the belief that viroid-derived small RNAs mediate the post-transcriptional cleavage of endogenous mRNAs by acting as elicitors of symptoms expression. Although the evidence supporting the role of viroid-derived small RNAs in pathogenesis is robust, the possibility that this phenomenon can be a more complex process, also involving viroid-induced alterations in plant gene expression at transcriptional levels, has been considered. Here we show that plants infected with the 'Hop stunt viroid' accumulate high levels of sRNAs derived from ribosomal transcripts. This effect was correlated with an increase in the transcription of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) precursors during infection. We observed that the transcriptional reactivation of rRNA genes correlates with a modification of DNA methylation in their promoter region and revealed that some rRNA genes are demethylated and transcriptionally reactivated during infection. This study reports a previously unknown mechanism associated with viroid (or any other pathogenic RNA) infection in plants providing new insights into aspects of host alterations induced by the viroid infectious cycle.
    Nucleic Acids Research 10/2013; · 8.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Viroids are a unique class of noncoding RNAs: composed of only a circular, single-stranded molecule of 246-401 nt, they manage to replicate, move, circumvent host defenses, and frequently induce disease in higher plants. Viroids replicate through an RNA-to-RNA rolling-circle mechanism consisting of transcription of oligomeric viroid RNA intermediates, cleavage to unit-length strands, and circularization. Though the host RNA polymerase II (redirected to accept RNA templates) mediates RNA synthesis and a type-III RNase presumably cleavage of Potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd) and closely related members of the family Pospiviroidae, the host enzyme catalyzing the final circularization step, has remained elusive. In this study we propose that PSTVd subverts host DNA ligase 1, converting it to an RNA ligase, for the final step. To support this hypothesis, we show that the tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) DNA ligase 1 specifically and efficiently catalyzes circularization of the genuine PSTVd monomeric linear replication intermediate opened at position G95-G96 and containing 5'-phosphomonoester and 3'-hydroxyl terminal groups. Moreover, we also show a decreased PSTVd accumulation and a reduced ratio of monomeric circular to total monomeric PSTVd forms in Nicotiana benthamiana Domin plants in which the endogenous DNA ligase 1 was silenced. Thus, in a remarkable example of parasitic strategy, viroids reprogram for their replication the template and substrate specificity of a DNA-dependent RNA polymerase and a DNA ligase to act as RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and RNA ligase, respectively.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2012; 109(34):13805-10. · 9.74 Impact Factor
  • New Phytologist 02/2013; · 6.74 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Nov 14, 2013