Previously, we designed an artificial zinc-finger protein (AZP) for blocking a replication protein (Rep) of beet severe curly top virus (BSCTV) from binding to its replication origin and demonstrated that transgenic Arabidopsis plants expressing the AZP are completely resistant to the virus infection. Here we applied the AZP technology to tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) infective to an important agricultural crop, tomato. We designed an AZP binding to the direct repeat to block the TYLCV Rep binding and confirmed in gel shift assays that the designed AZP has a higher affinity to the replication origin than that of Rep. Furthermore, we demonstrated in competitive binding assays that the AZP effectively inhibited the Rep binding in vitro. We discuss properties of the AZP for inhibition of TYLCV replication in detail.
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