Crystal structure of p19--a universal suppressor of RNA silencing

Trends Biochem Sci. 2004 Jun;29(6):279-81. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2004.04.007.


RNA silencing in plants has an antiviral role and, consequently, plant viruses encode counter-defensive suppressor proteins that block this process. The recently reported crystal structure of two Tombusvirus suppressor proteins reveals a novel RNA-binding structure and illustrates precisely how the silencing mechanism is blocked. These suppressor protein structures, combined with molecular analyses of their effects in animal and plant cells, are informative about RNA silencing mechanisms. They also suggest various ways that Tombusvirus suppressors can be used to investigate RNA silencing in plants and animals.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Gene Silencing*
  • Plants / virology
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism
  • RNA, Viral / chemistry
  • RNA, Viral / genetics*
  • RNA, Viral / metabolism
  • Tombusvirus / chemistry
  • Tombusvirus / genetics
  • Tombusvirus / physiology
  • Viral Core Proteins / chemistry
  • Viral Core Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Core Proteins / physiology*


  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • RNA, Viral
  • Viral Core Proteins