Identification of new protein-protein interactions involving the products of the chromosome- and plasmid-encoded type IV secretion loci of the phytopathogen Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri
The recently sequenced genome of the bacterial plant pathogen Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri contains two virB gene clusters, one on the chromosome and one on a 64-kb plasmid, each of which codes for a previously uncharacterized type IV secretion system (T4SS). Here we used a yeast two-hybrid assay to identify protein-protein interactions in these two systems. Our results revealed interactions between known T4SS components as well as previously uncharacterized interactions involving hypothetical proteins coded by open reading frames in the two X. axonopodis pv. citri virB loci. Our results indicate that both loci may code for previously unidentified VirB7 proteins, which we show interact with either VirB6 or VirB9 or with a hypothetical protein coded by the same locus. Furthermore, a set of previously uncharacterized Xanthomonas proteins have been found to interact with VirD4, whose gene is adjacent to the chromosomal virB locus. The gene for one member of this family is found within the chromosomal virB locus. All these uncharacterized proteins possess a conserved 120-amino-acid domain in their C termini and may represent a family of cofactors or substrates of the Xanthomonas T4SS.