Data_Sheet_1_Agrobacterium VirE3 Uses Its Two Tandem Domains at the C-Terminus to Retain Its Companion VirE2 on the Cytoplasmic Side of the Host Plasma Membrane.docx
Agrobacterium tumefaciens is the causal agent of crown gall disease in nature; in the laboratory the bacterium is widely used for plant genetic modification. The bacterium delivers a single-stranded transferred DNA (T-DNA) and a group of crucial virulence proteins into host cells. A putative T-complex is formed inside host cells that is composed of T-DNA and virulence proteins VirD2 and VirE2, which protect the foreign DNA from degradation and guide its way into the host nucleus. However, little is known about how the T-complex is assembled inside host cells. We combined the split-GFP and split-sfCherry labeling systems to study the interaction of Agrobacterium-delivered VirE2 and VirE3 in host cells. Our results indicated that VirE2 co-localized with VirE3 on the cytoplasmic side of the host cellular membrane upon the delivery. We identified and characterized two tandem domains at the VirE3 C-terminus that interacted with VirE2 in vitro. Deletion of these two domains abolished the VirE2 accumulation on the host plasma membrane and affected the transformation. Furthermore, the two VirE2-interacting domains of VirE3 exhibited different affinities with VirE2. Collectively, this study demonstrates that the anchorage protein VirE3 uses the two tandem VirE2-interacting domains to facilitate VirE2 protection for T-DNA at the cytoplasmic side of the host cell entrance.