Like other members of the family Reoviridae, rice black-streaked dwarf virus (RBSDV, genus Fijivirus) is thought to replicate and assemble within cytoplasmic viral inclusion bodies, commonly called viroplasms. RBSDV P9-1 is the key protein for the formation of viroplasms, but little is known about the other proteins of the viroplasm or the molecular interactions amongst its components. RBSDV non-structural proteins were screened for their association with P9-1 using a co-immunoprecipitation assay. Only P6 was found to directly interact with P9-1, an interaction that was confirmed by bimolecular fluorescence complementation assay in Spodoptera frugiperda (Sf9) cells. Immunoelectron microscopy showed that P6 and P9-1 co-localized in electron-dense inclusion bodies, indicating that P6 is a constituent of the viroplasm. In addition, non-structural protein P5 also localized to viroplasms and interacted with P6. In Sf9 cells, P6 was diffusely distributed throughout the cytoplasm when expressed alone, but localized to inclusions when coexpressed with P9-1, suggesting that P6 is recruited to viral inclusion bodies by binding to P9-1. P5 localized to the inclusions formed by P9-1 when co-expressed with P6 but did not when P6 was absent, suggesting that P5 is recruited to viroplasms by binding to P6. This study provides a model by which viral non-structural proteins are recruited to RBSDV viroplasms.
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