Cap analog and Potato virus A HC-Pro silencing suppressor improve GFP transient expression using an infectious virus vector in Nicotiana benthamiana

Document Type: Original article


Plant Virology Research Center, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran


Transient expression of proteins in plants has become a choice to facilitate recombinant protein production with its fast and easy application. On the other hand, host defensive mechanisms have been reported to reduce the efficiency of transient expression in plants. Hence, this study was designed to evaluate the effect of cap analog and Potato virus A helper component proteinase (PVA HC-Pro) on green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression efficiency.N. benthamiana leaves were inoculated with capped or un-capped RNA transcripts of a Turnip crinkle virus (TCV) construct containing a green fluorescent protein reporter gene (TCV-sGFP) in place of its coat protein (CP) ORF. PVA HC-Pro as a viral suppressor of RNA silencing was infiltrated in trans by Agrobacterium tumefaciens, increased the GFP foci diameter to six and even more cells in both capped and un capped treatments. The expression level of GFP in inoculated plants with TCV-sGFP transcript pre-infiltrated with PVA HC-Pro was 12.97-fold higher than the GFP accumulation level in pre-infiltrated leaves with empty plasmid (EP) control. Also, the yield of GFP in inoculated N. benthamiana plants with capped TCV-sGFP transcript pre-infiltrated with EP and PVA HC-Pro was 1.54 and 1.2-fold respectively, greater than the level of GFP expressed without cap analog application at 5 days post inoculation (dpi). In addition, the movement of TCV-sGFP was increased in some cells of inoculated leaves with capped transcripts. Results of this study indicated that PVA HC-Pro and mRNA capping can increase GFP expression and its cell to cell movement in N. benthamiana.


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