Presentation_1_Meloidogyne incognita PASSE-MURAILLE (MiPM) Gene Encodes a Cell-Penetrating Protein That Interacts With the CSN5 Subunit of the COP9 Signalosome.pdf

The pathogenicity of phytonematodes relies on secreted virulence factors to rewire host cellular pathways for the benefits of the nematode. In the root-knot nematode (RKN) Meloidogyne incognita, thousands of predicted secreted proteins have been identified and are expected to interact with host proteins at different developmental stages of the parasite. Identifying the host targets will provide compelling evidence about the biological significance and molecular function of the predicted proteins. Here, we have focused on the hub protein CSN5, the fifth subunit of the pleiotropic and eukaryotic conserved COP9 signalosome (CSN), which is a regulatory component of the ubiquitin/proteasome system. We used affinity purification-mass spectrometry (AP-MS) to generate the interaction network of CSN5 in M. incognita-infected roots. We identified the complete CSN complex and other known CSN5 interaction partners in addition to unknown plant and M. incognita proteins. Among these, we described M. incognita PASSE-MURAILLE (MiPM), a small pioneer protein predicted to contain a secretory peptide that is up-regulated mostly in the J2 parasitic stage. We confirmed the CSN5-MiPM interaction, which occurs in the nucleus, by bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC). Using MiPM as bait, a GST pull-down assay coupled with MS revealed some common protein partners between CSN5 and MiPM. We further showed by in silico and microscopic analyses that the recombinant purified MiPM protein enters the cells of Arabidopsis root tips in a non-infectious context. In further detail, the supercharged N-terminal tail of MiPM (NTT-MiPM) triggers an unknown host endocytosis pathway to penetrate the cell. The functional meaning of the CSN5-MiPM interaction in the M. incognita parasitism is discussed. Moreover, we propose that the cell-penetrating properties of some M. incognita secreted proteins might be a non-negligible mechanism for cell uptake, especially during the steps preceding the sedentary parasitic phase.