Certain bacterial pathogens inject their effector proteins into the target cell to wreak havoc. Nomura et al. now show what a Pseudomonas protein does once it is inside an Arabidopsis plant cell. The virulence protein, HopM1, targets a plant defense protein, AtMIN7, by escorting that protein to its destruction by the plant's own proteasome. AtMIN7 normally functions in the vesicle trafficking that builds up a cell-wall response to pathogen invasion.
K. Nomura, S. DebRoy, Y. H. Lee, N. Pumplin, J. Jones, S. Y. He, A bacterial virulence protein suppresses host innate immunity to cause plant disease. Science 313, 220-223 (2006). [Abstract] [Full Text]