Two evolutionary distinct effectors from a nematode and virus target RanGAP1 and 2 via the WPP domain to promote disease
The Gpa2 and Rx1 intracellular immune receptors are canonical CC-NB-LRR proteins belonging to the same R gene cluster in potato. Despite sharing high sequence homology, they have evolved to provide defence against unrelated pathogens. Gpa2 detects Gp-RBP-1 effectors secreted by the potato cyst nematode Globodera pallida whereas Rx1 recognizes the viral coat protein (CP) of Potato Virus X (PVX). How Gpa2 and Rx1 perceive their matching effectors remains unknown. Using a combination of in planta Co-Immunoprecipitation and cellular imaging, we show that both Gp-RBP-1 and PVX-CP physically interact with RanGAP2 and RanGAP1 in the cytoplasm of plant cells. Interestingly, this was also demonstrated for the eliciting variants of Gp-RBP-1 and PVX-CP indicating a role for RanGAP1 and RanGAP2 in pathogenicity independent from Gpa2 and Rx1 recognition. Indeed, knocking down both RanGAP homologs reduce cyst nematode and PVX infection. These findings show that RanGAP1/2 act as common host targets of evolutionary distinct effectors from two plant pathogens with different lifestyles. The involvement of RanGAP1/2 to pathogen virulence is a novel role not yet reported for these key host cell components and as such, their possible role in cyst nematode parasitism and viral pathogenicity are discussed. Moreover, from these findings a model emerges for their possible role as co-factor in pathogen recognition by the potato immune receptors Gpa2/Rx1.