Genome-wide functional analyses of plant coiled–coil NLR-type pathogen receptors reveal essential roles of their N-terminal domain in oligomerization, networking, and immunity

Tadeusz Wróblewski, Laurentiu Spiridon, Eliza Cristina Martin, Andrei Jose Petrescu, Keri Cavanaugh, Maria José Truco, Huaqin Xu, Dariusz Gozdowski, Krzysztof Pawłowski, Richard W Michelmore, Frank L.W. Takken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The ability to induce a defense response after pathogen attack is a critical feature of the immune system of any organism. Nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat receptors (NLRs) are key players in this process and perceive the occurrence of nonself-activities or foreign molecules. In plants, coevolution with a variety of pests and pathogens has resulted in repertoires of several hundred diverse NLRs in single individuals and many more in populations as a whole. However, the mechanism by which defense signaling is triggered by these NLRs in plants is poorly understood. Here, we show that upon pathogen perception, NLRs use their N-terminal domains to transactivate other receptors. Their N-terminal domains homo- and heterodimerize, suggesting that plant NLRs oligomerize upon activation, similar to the vertebrate NLRs; however, consistent with their large number in plants, the complexes are highly heterometric. Also, in contrast to metazoan NLRs, the N-terminus, rather than their centrally located nucleotide-binding (NB) domain, can mediate initial partner selection. The highly redundant network of NLR interactions in plants is proposed to provide resilience to perturbation by pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2005821
JournalPLoS Biology
Volume16
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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    Wróblewski, T., Spiridon, L., Martin, E. C., Petrescu, A. J., Cavanaugh, K., Truco, M. J., Xu, H., Gozdowski, D., Pawłowski, K., Michelmore, R. W., & Takken, F. L. W. (2018). Genome-wide functional analyses of plant coiled–coil NLR-type pathogen receptors reveal essential roles of their N-terminal domain in oligomerization, networking, and immunity. PLoS Biology, 16(12), [e2005821]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.2005821