A model of the C14-EPIC complex indicates hotspots for a protease-inhibitor arms race in the oomycete-potato interaction

Plant Signal Behav. 2011 Jan;6(1):109-12. doi: 10.4161/psb.6.1.14190. Epub 2011 Jan 1.


The oomycete pathogen Phytophthora infestans secretes cystatin-like effector proteins (EPICs) that inhibit secreted host proteases during infection. We recently found that the C14 protease is a relevant target of EPICs and that this protease is under diversifying selection in wild potato species with which P. infestans has coevolved. Here we generated a model of the EPIC-C14 complex based on cystatin-papain crystal structures and discovered three regions where variant residues in C14 might be the result of an arms race between enzyme and inhibitor at the plant-pathogen interface.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptide Hydrolases / chemistry
  • Peptide Hydrolases / metabolism*
  • Phytophthora infestans
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protease Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Protease Inhibitors / metabolism*
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Solanum tuberosum / enzymology*
  • Solanum tuberosum / microbiology*
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Plant Proteins
  • Protease Inhibitors
  • Peptide Hydrolases