NLR immune receptor RB is differentially targeted by two homologous but functionally distinct effector proteins. Academic Article uri icon


  • Plant nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat (NLR) receptors mediate immune responses by directly or indirectly sensing pathogen-derived effectors. Despite significant advances in the understanding of NLR-mediated immunity, the mechanisms by which pathogens evolve to suppress NLR activation triggered by cognate effectors and gain virulence remain largely unknown. The agronomically important immune receptor RB recognizes the ubiquitous and highly conserved IPI-O RXLR family members (e.g., IPI-O1) from Phytophthora infestans, and this process is suppressed by the rarely present and homologous effector IPI-O4. Here, we report that self-association of RB via the coiled-coil (CC) domain is required for RB activation and is differentially affected by avirulence and virulence effectors. IPI-O1 moderately reduces the self-association of RB CC, potentially leading to changes in the conformation and equilibrium of RB, whereas IPI-O4 dramatically impairs CC self-association to prevent RB activation. We also found that IPI-O1 associates with itself, whereas IPI-O4 does not. Notably, IPI-O4 interacts with IPI-O1 and disrupts its self-association, therefore probably blocking its avirulence function. Furthermore, IPI-O4 enhances the interaction between RB CC and IPI-O1, possibly sequestering RB and IPI-O1 and subsequently blocking their interactions withsignaling components. Taken together, these findings considerably extend our understanding of the underlying mechanisms by which emerging virulent pathogens suppress the NLR-mediated recognition of cognate effectors.

published proceedings

  • Plant Commun

altmetric score

  • 3.1

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhao, J., & Song, J.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Zhao, Jinping||Song, Junqi

publication date

  • November 2021