Analogies between geminivirus and oncovirus: Cell cycle regulation
Geminiviruses are a large family of plant viruses whose genome is composed of one or two circular and single strand of DNA. They replicate in the cell nucleus being Rep protein, the only viral protein necessary for their replication process. Geminiviruses as same as animal DNA oncoviruses, like SV40, adenovirus and papillomavirus, use the host replication machinery to replicate their DNA. Consequently, they alter host cell cycle regulation to create a suitable environment for their replication. One of the events involved in this alteration would be the inactivation of the retinoblastoma protein (pRb) that negatively regulates the G1/S transition in cells. The discovery of one homologue of the pRb in plants and the finding that Rep protein of some geminiviruses interacts with human retinoblastoma protein, as well as animal virus oncoproteins, is very interesting. This finding laid the groundwork for subsequent detection of analogies between geminiviruses and animal DNA tumor viruses, especially in their interaction with pRb. Moreover, the finding allowed the determination of how this interaction affects the regulation of the cell cycle in plants and animals. Accumulated knowledge generates new interesting questions and possible implications, and so, in this document, we dare to watch in that direction.
Key words: Geminivirus, oncovirus, retinoblastoma protein, cell cycle regulation, endoreduplication.