Viroid-induced phosphorylation of a host protein related to a dsRNA-dependent protein kinase

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Science  22 Jul 1988:
Vol. 241, Issue 4864, pp. 451-453
DOI: 10.1126/science.3393910


Viroids are very small, unencapsidated RNAs that replicate and induce severe disease in plants without encoding for any proteins. The mechanisms by which the viroid RNA regulates these events and interacts with host factors are unknown. An Mr 68,000 host-encoded protein has been identified that is differentially phosphorylated in extracts from viroid-infected and mock-inoculated tissues. This phosphoprotein is immunologically related to a double-stranded (ds) RNA-dependent protein kinase from virus-infected, interferon-treated human cells. Further, nucleotide photoaffinity labeling indicates that the protein has an ATP binding site. This protein is similar to dsRNA-dependent protein kinases implicated in mammalian systems in the regulation of protein synthesis and virus replication.