Identification of distinct steps during tubule formation by the movement of protein of Cowpea mosaic virus

J. Pouwels, N. Kornet, N.E.M. Bers, T. Guighelaar, J.W.M. van Lent, T. Bisseling, J.E. Wellink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The movement protein (MP) of Cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV) forms tubules through plasmodesmata in infected plants thus enabling virus particles to move from cell to cell. Localization studies of mutant MPs fused to GFP in protoplasts and plants identified several functional domains within the MP that are involved in distinct steps during tubule formation. Coinoculation experiments and the observation that one of the C-terminal deletion mutants accumulated uniformly in the plasma membrane suggest that dimeric or multimeric MP is first targeted to the plasma membrane. At the plasma membrane the MP quickly accumulates in peripheral punctuate spots, from which tubule formation is initiated. One of the mutant MPs formed tubules containing virus particles on protoplasts, but could not support cell-to-cell movement in plants. The observations that this mutant MP accumulated to a higher level in the cell than wt MP and did not accumulate in the cell wall opposite infected cells suggest that breakdown or disassembly of tubules in neighbouring, uninfected cells is required for cell-to-cell movement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3485-3494
JournalJournal of General Virology
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • green fluorescent protein
  • m-rna
  • mutational analysis
  • insect cells
  • coat protein
  • protoplasts
  • plants
  • chain
  • involvement
  • cerulenin


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