Phytophthora effector PSR1 hijacks the host pre-mRNA splicing machinery to modulate small RNA biogenesis and plant immunity

Xinmeng Gui, Peng Zhang, Dan Wang, Zhan Ding, Xian Wu, Jinxia Shi, Qian Hua Shen, Yong Zhen Xu, Wenbo Ma, Yongli Qiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Phytophthora effector PSR1 suppresses small RNA (sRNA)-mediated immunity in plants, but the underlying mechanism remains unknown. Here, we show that Phytophthora suppressor of RNA silencing 1 (PSR1) contributes to the pathogenicity of Phytophthora sojae and specifically binds to three conserved C-terminal domains of the eukaryotic PSR1-Interacting Protein 1 (PINP1). PINP1 encodes PRP16, a core pre-mRNA splicing factor that unwinds RNA duplexes and binds to primary microRNA transcripts and general RNAs. Intriguingly, PSR1 decreased both RNA helicase and RNA-binding activity of PINP1, thereby dampening sRNA biogenesis and RNA metabolism. The PSR1-PINP1 interaction caused global changes in alternative splicing (AS). A total of 5,135 genes simultaneously exhibited mis-splicing in both PSR1-overexpressing and PINP1-silenced plants. AS upregulated many mRNA transcripts that had their introns retained. The high occurrence of intron retention in AS-induced transcripts significantly promoted Phytophthora pathogen infection in Nicotiana benthamiana, and this might be caused by the production of truncated proteins. Taken together, our findings reveal a key role for PINP1 in regulating sRNA biogenesis and plant immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3443-3459
Number of pages17
JournalThe Plant Cell
Issue number9
Early online date14 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022

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