Probing interactions between plant virus movement proteins and nucleic acids

Tzvi Tzfira, Vitaly Citovsky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Most plant viruses move between plant cells with the help of their movement proteins (MPs). MPs are multifunctional proteins, and one of their functions is almost invariably binding to nucleic acids. Presumably, the MP-nucleic acid interaction is directly involved in formation of nucleoprotein complexes that function as intermediates in the cell-to-cell transport of many plant viruses. Thus, when studying a viral MP, it is important to determine whether or not it binds nucleic acids, and to characterize the hallmark parameters of such binding, i.e., preference for single- or double-stranded nucleic acids and binding cooperativity and sequence specificity. Here, we present two major experimental approaches, native gel mobility shift assay and ultra violet (UV) light cross-linking, for detection and characterization of MP binding to DNA and RNA molecules. We also describe protocols for purification of recombinant viral MPs over-expressed in bacteria and production of different DNA and RNA probes for these binding assays.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlant Virology Protocols
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Viral Sequence to Protein Function
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9781588298270
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745


  • Binding cooperativity
  • DNA
  • Gel mobility shift
  • Movement-protein-nucleic acid complexes
  • RNA
  • UV light cross-linking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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