Plant viruses represent a major threat for a wide range of host species causing severe losses in agricultural practices. The full comprehension of mechanisms underlying events of virus-host plant interaction is crucial to devise novel plant resistance strategies. Until now, functional genomics studies in plant-virus interaction have been limited mainly on transcriptomic analysis. Only recently are proteomic approaches starting to provide important contributions to this area of research. Classical two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) coupled to mass spectrometry (MS) is still the most widely used platform in plant proteome analysis, although in the last years the application of quantitative "second generation" proteomic techniques (such as differential in gel electrophoresis, DIGE, and gel-free protein separation methods) are emerging as more powerful analytical approaches. Apparently simple, plant-virus interactions reveal a really complex pathophysiological context, in which resistance, defense and susceptibility, and direct virus-induced reactions interplay to trigger expression responses of hundreds of genes. Given that, this review is specifically focused on comparative proteome-based studies on pathogenesis of several viral genera, including some of the most important and widespread plant viruses of the genus Tobamovirus, Sobemovirus, Cucumovirus and Potyvirus. In all, this overview reveals a widespread repression of proteins associated with the photosynthetic apparatus, while energy metabolism/protein synthesis and turnover are typically up-regulated, indicating a major redirection of cell metabolism. Other common features include the modulation of metabolisms concerning sugars, cell wall, and reactive oxigen species as well as pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins. The fine-tuning between plant development and antiviral defense mechanisms determines new patterns of regulation of common metabolic pathways. By offering a 360-degree view of protein modulation, all proteomic tools reveal the extraordinary intricacy of mechanisms with which a simple viral genome perturbs the plant cell molecular networks. This "omic" approach, while providing a global perspective and useful information to the understanding of the plant host-virus interactome, may possibly reveal protein targets/markers useful in the design of future diagnosis and/or plant protection strategies. © 2012 American Chemical Society.
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