Recently, the Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV) Gn and Gc glycoproteins were shown to induce the formation of (pseudo-) circular and pleomorphic membrane structures upon transient expression in plant cells. Furthermore, when singly expressed, Gc retains in the ER, while Gn is able to further migrate to the Golgi. Upon co-expression, Gn rescues Gc and co-migrates to the Golgi complex. Here, we have studied the behavior of the glycoproteins in the presence of the viral nucleocapsid (N) protein and in vivo analyzed the occurrence of protein¿protein interactions by fluorescence life time imaging microscopy (FLIM). The analysis demonstrated that N co-localizes and interacts with both glycoproteins, with a preference for Gn. Additionally, it is shown that N causes a dramatic change in the distribution of Gc within the ER, from reticular to punctate spots. The observations are discussed in the context of the virus particle formation during the infection process.
- homotypic interaction