Structural basis of nanobody-recognition of grapevine fanleaf virus and of virus resistance loss

Abstract : Grapevine fanleaf virus (GFLV) is a picorna-like plant virus transmitted by nematodes that affects vineyards worldwide. Nanobody (Nb)-mediated resistance against GFLV has been created recently and shown to be highly effective in plants including grapevine, but the underlying mechanism is unknown. Here we present the high-resolution cryo-EM structure of the GFLV-Nb23 complex which provides the basis for the molecular recognition by the nanobody. The structure reveals a composite binding site bridging over 3 domains of the capsid protein (CP) monomer. The structure provides a precise mapping of the Nb23 epitope on the GFLV capsid in which the antigen loop is accommodated through an induced fit mechanism. Moreover, we uncover and characterize several resistance-breaking GFLV isolates with amino acids mapping within this epitope, including C-terminal extensions of the CP, which would sterically interfere with Nb binding. Escape variants with such extended CP fail to be transmitted by nematodes linking Nb-mediated resistance to vector transmission. Together, these data provide insights into the molecular mechanism of Nb23-mediated recognition of GFLV and of virus resistance loss.
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Igor Orlov, Caroline Hemmer, Léa Ackerer, Bernard Lorber, Ahmed Ghannam, et al.. Structural basis of nanobody-recognition of grapevine fanleaf virus and of virus resistance loss. 2019. ⟨hal-02350130⟩

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