U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government


Main content area

Ubiquitin Extension Protein UEP1 Modulates Cell Death and Resistance to Various Pathogens in Tobacco

Xu, You-Ping, Zhao, Yuan, Song, Xiao-Yi, Ye, Yun-Feng, Wang, Ren-Gang, Wang, Zi-Li, Ren, Xue-Liang, Cai, Xin-Zhong
Phytopathology 2019 v.109 no.7 pp. 1257-1269
Cucumber mosaic virus, Meloidogyne incognita, Nicotiana benthamiana, Pythium aphanidermatum, RNA interference, Tobacco mosaic virus, autophagy, disease resistance, ethylene, genes, glycine (amino acid), jasmonic acid, leaves, lipid metabolism, proteasome endopeptidase complex, ribosomal proteins, tobacco, ubiquitin, vacuoles, viruses
Ubiquitin (Ub) extension proteins (UEPs) are fusion proteins of a Ub at the N terminus to a ribosomal protein. They are the main source of Ub and the only source of extension ribosomal protein. Although important roles of the Ub-26S proteasome system in various biological processes have been well established, direct evidence for the role of UEP genes in plant defense is rarely reported. In this study, we cloned a Ub-S27a-type UEP gene (NbUEP1) from Nicotiana benthamiana and demonstrated its function in cell death and disease resistance. Virus-induced gene silencing of NbUEP1 led to intensive cell death, culminating in whole-seedling withering. Transient RNA interference (RNAi) of NbUEP1 caused strong cell death in infiltrated areas, while stable NbUEP1-RNAi tobacco plants constitutively formed necrotic lesions in leaves. NbUEP1-RNAi plants exhibited increased resistance to the oomycete Pythium aphanidermatum and viruses Tobacco mosaic virus and Cucumber mosaic virus while displaying decreased resistance to the nematode Meloidogyne incognita compared with non-RNAi control plants. Transcription profiling analysis indicated that jasmonate and ethylene pathways, lipid metabolism, copper amine oxidase-mediated active species generation, glycine-rich proteins, vacuolar processing enzyme- and RD21-mediated cell death and defense regulation, and autophagy might be associated with NbUEP1-mediated cell death and resistance. Our results provided evidence for the important roles of plant UEPs in modulating plant cell death and disease resistance.