Transcriptional gene silencing (TGS) can serve as an innate immunity against invading DNA viruses throughout Eukaryotes. Geminivirus code for TrAP protein to suppress the TGS pathway. Here, we identified an Arabidopsis H3K9me2 histone methyltransferase, Su(var)3-9 homolog 4/Kryptonite (SUVH4/KYP), as a bona fide cellular target of TrAP. TrAP interacts with the catalytic domain of KYP and inhibits its activity in vitro. TrAP elicits developmental anomalies phenocopying several TGS mutants, reduces the repressive H3K9me2 mark and CHH DNA methylation, and reactivates numerous endogenous KYP-repressed loci in vivo. Moreover, KYP binds to the viral chromatin and controls its methylation to combat virus infection. Notably, kyp mutants support systemic infection of TrAP-deficient Geminivirus. We conclude that TrAP attenuates the TGS of the viral chromatin by inhibiting KYP activity to evade host surveillance. These findings provide new insight on the molecular arms race between host antiviral defense and virus counter defense at an epigenetic level.
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- Journal of Virology
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- National Science Foundation
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