Plant NB-LRR receptors are pivotal components of innate immunity. They function to detect specific pathogen-derived effector molecules and trigger defence. However, the way most NB-LRR recognize effectors is unknown.
In this study, we show that the matching effectors of the potato CC-NB-LRRs Rx1 and Gpa2 (PVX-CP and Gp-RBP1 respectively) interact with the co-factor RanGTPase Activating Protein 2 (RanGAP2). Effector targeting of RanGAP2 is required for the virulence of Potato Virus X in Nicotiana benthamiana and cyst nematodes in Arabidopsis. The involvement of RanGAP2 to pathogen virulence is a previously undescribed role reported for this key host cell component. From these findings, a model emerges for their possible role as co-factor in pathogen recognition by the potato immune receptors Gpa2/Rx1.