HPE1, an Effector from Zebra Chip Pathogen Interacts with Tomato Proteins and Perturbs Ubiquitinated Protein Accumulation. Academic Article uri icon


  • The gram-negative bacterial genus Liberibacter includes economically important pathogens, such as ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ that cause citrus greening disease (or Huanglongbing, HLB) and ‘Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum’ (Lso) that cause zebra chip disease in potato. Liberibacter pathogens are fastidious bacteria transmitted by psyllids. Pathogen manipulation of the host’ and vector’s immune system for successful colonization is hypothesized to be achieved by Sec translocon-dependent effectors (SDE). In previous work, we identified hypothetical protein effector 1 (HPE1), an SDE from Lso, that acts as a suppressor of the plant’s effector-triggered immunity (ETI)-like response. In this study, using a yeast two-hybrid system, we identify binding interactions between tomato RAD23 proteins and HPE1. We further show that HPE1 interacts with RAD23 in both nuclear and cytoplasmic compartments in planta. Immunoblot assays show that HPE1 is not ubiquitinated in the plant cell, but rather the expression of HPE1 induced the accumulation of other ubiquitinated proteins. A similar accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins is also observed in Lso infected tomato plants. Finally, earlier colonization and symptom development following Lso haplotype B infection are observed in HPE1 overexpressing plants compared to wild-type plants. Overall, our results suggest that HPE1 plays a role in virulence in Lso pathogenesis, possibly by perturbing the ubiquitin-proteasome system via direct interaction with the ubiquitin-like domain of RAD23 proteins.

published proceedings

  • Int J Mol Sci

altmetric score

  • 0.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Kan, C., Mendoza-Herrera, A., Levy, J., Hull, J. J., Fabrick, J. A., & Tamborindeguy, C.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Kan, Chia-Cheng||Mendoza-Herrera, Azucena||Levy, Julien||Hull, J Joe||Fabrick, Jeffery A||Tamborindeguy, Cecilia

publication date

  • August 2021