ABSTRACT: Nucleotide binding leucine-rich repeat (NB-LRR) proteins play an important role in plant and mammalian innate immunity. In plants, these resistance proteins recognize specific pathogen-derived effector proteins. Recognition subsequently triggers a rapid and efficient defense response often associated with the hypersensitive response and other poorly understood processes that suppress the pathogen. To investigate mechanisms associated with the activation of disease resistance responses, we investigated proteins binding to the potato (Solanum tuberosum) NB-LRR protein Rx that confers extreme resistance to Potato virus X (PVX) in potato and Nicotiana benthamiana. By affinity purification experiments, we identified an endogenous N. benthamiana Ran GTPase¿Activating Protein2 (RanGAP2) as an Rx-associated protein in vivo. Further characterization confirmed the specificity of this interaction and showed that the association occurs through their N-terminal domains. By specific virus-induced gene silencing of RanGAP2 in N. benthamiana carrying Rx, we demonstrated that this interaction is required for extreme resistance to PVX and suggest that RanGAP2 is part of the Rx signaling complex. These results implicate RanGAP-mediated cellular mechanisms, including nucleocytoplasmic trafficking, in the activation of disease resistance.
The Plant Cell 19 (2007) 5.