Manipulation of the Plant Host by the Geminivirus AC2/C2 Protein, a Central Player in the Infection Cycle

Jennifer Guerrero, Elizabeth Regedanz, Liu Lu, Jianhua Ruan, David M. Bisaro, Garry Sunter

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    5 Scopus citations


    Geminiviruses are a significant group of emergent plant DNA viruses causing devastating diseases in food crops worldwide, including the Southern United States, Central America and the Caribbean. Crop failure due to geminivirus-related disease can be as high as 100%. Improved global transportation has enhanced the spread of geminiviruses and their vectors, supporting the emergence of new, more virulent recombinant strains. With limited coding capacity, geminiviruses encode multifunctional proteins, including the AC2/C2 gene that plays a central role in the viral replication-cycle through suppression of host defenses and transcriptional regulation of the late viral genes. The AC2/C2 proteins encoded by mono- and bipartite geminiviruses and the curtovirus C2 can be considered virulence factors, and are known to interact with both basal and inducible systems. This review highlights the role of AC2/C2 in affecting the jasmonic acid and salicylic acid (JA and SA) pathways, the ubiquitin/proteasome system (UPS), and RNA silencing pathways. In addition to suppressing host defenses, AC2/C2 play a critical role in regulating expression of the coat protein during the viral life cycle. It is important that the timing of CP expression is regulated to ensure that ssDNA is converted to dsDNA early during an infection and is sequestered late in the infection. How AC2 interacts with host transcription factors to regulate CP expression is discussed along with how computational approaches can help identify critical host networks targeted by geminivirus AC2 proteins. Thus, the role of AC2/C2 in the viral life-cycle is to prevent the host from mounting an efficient defense response to geminivirus infection and to ensure maximal amplification and encapsidation of the viral genome.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number591
    JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
    StatePublished - May 19 2020


    • AC2/C2
    • PTGS
    • TGS
    • antiviral defense response
    • pathogenicity factor
    • transcriptional activation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Plant Science


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