The ER-Membrane Transport System Is Critical for Intercellular Trafficking of the NSm Movement Protein and Tomato Spotted Wilt Tospovirus
The actin cytoskeleton has been implicated in the intra- and intercellular movement of a growing number of plant and animal viruses. However, the range of viruses influenced by actin for movement and the mechanism of this transport are poorly understood. Here we determine the importance of microfilaments and myosins for the sustained intercellular movement of a group of RNA-based plant viruses. We demonstrate that the intercellular movement of viruses from different genera [tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), potato virus X (PVX), tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV)], is inhibited by disruption of microfilaments. Surprisingly, turnip vein-clearing virus (TVCV), a virus from the same genus as TMV, did not require intact microfilaments for normal spread. To investigate the molecular basis for this difference we compared the subcellular location of GFP fusions to the 126-kDa protein and the homologous 125-kDa protein from TMV and TVCV, respectively. The 126-kDa protein formed numerous large cytoplasmic inclusions associated with microfilaments, whereas the 125-kDa protein formed few small possible inclusions, none associated with microfilaments. The dependence of TMV, PVX, and TBSV on intact microfilaments for intercellular movement led us to investigate the role of myosin motors in this process. Virus-induced gene silencing of the Nicotiana benthamiana myosin XI-2 gene, but not three other myosins, inhibited only TMV movement. These results indicate that RNA viruses have evolved differently in their requirements for microfilaments and the associated myosin motors, in a manner not correlated with predicted phylogeny.