Type III effector proteins from bacterial pathogens manipulate components of host immunity to suppress defence responses and promote pathogen development. In plants, host proteins targeted by some effectors called avirulence proteins are surveyed by plant disease resistance proteins referred to as guards . The Ralstonia solanacearum effector protein PopP2 triggers immunity in Arabidopsis following its perception by the RRS1-R resistance protein. Here, we show that PopP2 interacts with RRS1-R in the nucleus of living plant cells. PopP2 belongs to the YopJ-like family of cysteine proteases, which share a conserved catalytic triad that includes a highly conserved cysteine residue. The catalytic cysteine mutant PopP2-C321A is impaired in its avirulence activity although it is still able to interact with RRS1-R. In addition, PopP2 prevents proteasomal degradation of RRS1-R, independent of the presence of an integral PopP2 catalytic core. A liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry analysis showed that PopP2 displays acetyl-transferase activity leading to its autoacetylation on a particular lysine residue, which is well conserved among all members of the YopJ family. These data suggest that this lysine residue may correspond to a key binding site for acetyl-coenzyme A required for protein activity. Indeed, mutation of this lysine in PopP2 abolishes RRS1-R-mediated immunity. In agreement with the guard hypothesis, our results favour the idea that activation of the plant immune response by RRS1-R depends not only on the physical interaction between the two proteins but also on its perception of PopP2 enzymatic activity.
Tasset, C., Bernoux, M., Jauneau, A., Pouzet, C., Briere, C., Kieffer-Jacquinod, S., Rivas, S., Marco, Y., & Deslandes, L. (2010). Autoacetylation of the Ralstonia solanacearum effector PopP2 targets a lysine residue essential for RRS1-R-mediated immunity in Arabidopsis. PLoS Pathogens, 6(11), 1 - 14. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1001202