Nopaline-type Ti plasmid of Agrobacterium encodes a VirF-like functional F-box protein.Sci Rep. 2015 Nov 20; 5:16610.SR
During Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation of plants, several bacterial virulence (Vir) proteins are translocated into the host cell to facilitate infection. One of the most important of such translocated factors is VirF, an F-box protein produced by octopine strains of Agrobacterium, which presumably facilitates proteasomal uncoating of the invading T-DNA from its associated proteins. The presence of VirF also is thought to be involved in differences in host specificity between octopine and nopaline strains of Agrobacterium, with the current dogma being that no functional VirF is encoded by nopaline strains. Here, we show that a protein with homology to octopine VirF is encoded by the Ti plasmid of the nopaline C58 strain of Agrobacterium. This protein, C58VirF, possesses the hallmarks of functional F-box proteins: it contains an active F-box domain and specifically interacts, via its F-box domain, with SKP1-like (ASK) protein components of the plant ubiquitin/proteasome system. Thus, our data suggest that nopaline strains of Agrobacterium have evolved to encode a functional F-box protein VirF.