War of the worlds
How plants protect themselves against divers pathogens
Plants have various mechanisms to protect themselves against pathogens. The first step in the defense signaling pathway often relies on the recognition of pathogen proteins (but also pathogens use this strategy to find their host). The Rx1 resistance protein from potato, is activated by the coat protein of Potato Virus X (PVX CP) and the highly homologous Gpa2 resistance protein by Ran binding proteins (RanBP) secreted by the nematode Globodera pallida. From ongoing research at the laboratory of Nematology it has become clear that the C-terminal Leucine-rich Repeats of the Rx1 and Gpa2 proteins are essential for specific recognition. The N-terminal coiled-coil domain is responsible for the nuclear localization of the protein and possibly for downstream signaling. The coiled-coil domain is involved in interactions with the central region of the protein in an ATP dependent manner and with the Ran GTPase Activating Protein 2 (RanGAP2).