Pathogen effectors are intercepted by plant intracellular nucleotide binding-leucine-rich repeat (NB-LRR) receptors. However, processes linking receptor activation to downstream defenses remain obscure. Nucleo-cytoplasmic basal resistance regulator EDS1 (ENHANCED DISEASE SUSCEPTIBILITY1) is indispensible for immunity mediated by TIR (Toll-interleukin-1 receptor)-NB-LRR receptors. We show that Arabidopsis EDS1 molecularly connects TIR-NB-LRR disease resistance protein RPS4 recognition of bacterial effector AvrRps4 to defense pathways. RPS4-EDS1 and AvrRps4-EDS1 complexes are detected inside nuclei of living tobacco cells after transient coexpression and in Arabidopsis soluble leaf extracts after resistance activation. Forced AvrRps4 localization to the host cytoplasm or nucleus reveals cell compartment-specific RPS4-EDS1 defense branches. Although nuclear processes restrict bacterial growth, programmed cell death and transcriptional resistance reinforcement require nucleo-cytoplasmic coordination. Thus, EDS1 behaves as an effector target and activated TIR-NB-LRR signal transducer for defenses across cell compartments.