The protein interactome of the citrus Huanglongbing pathogenCandidatusLiberibacter asiaticus

Carter et al. (2023).
Names (1)
Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus
AbstractCandidatusLiberibacter asiaticus (CLas) is the causal agent of the devastating citrus Huanglongbing (HLB) disease. Our understanding of the pathogenicity mechanism and biology of CLas remain limited because CLas has not been cultured in artificial media. CLas encodes 1136 proteins of which 415 have unknown functions. Since genetic studies of CLas genes with unknown functions are impossible, we utilized genome-wide protein-protein interactions (PPIs) yeast-two-hybrid (Y2H) assays to help solve the mystery. PPIs are fundamental to all cellular processes and machinery and instrumental in investigating uncharacterized proteins and inferring biological pathways. In total, 916 bait and 936 prey proteins were included in the three-phase screening, which identified 4245 interactions. The false positive rate of the Y2H assay was estimated to be 3.1%. Pull-down assays confirmed the robustness of our Y2H. The average interactions per node for CLas Y2H interactome were approximately 15.6, significantly higher than free-living bacteria, indicating genome reduction has led to a multi-function of proteins. PPIs provide clues for functions of 371 uncharacterized proteins of CLas. Forty HUB node proteins were identified which might play critical roles in CLas, including a quinone oxidoreductase and LysR that are known to protect bacteria against oxidative stress. This explains why CLas survives well in the phloem even though it triggers immune-mediated disease, systemic and chronic production of reactive oxygen species, and phloem cell death. This PPI database facilitates the investigation of CLas cellular biochemistry and physiology, functions of uncharacterized proteins, and pathogenicity mechanisms of the pathogen.
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