Solute pores, ion channels, and metabolite transporters in the outer and inner envelope membranes of higher plant plastids.
All plant cells contain plastids. Various reactions are located exclusively within these unique organelles, requiring the controlled exchange of a wide range of solutes, ions, and metabolites. In recent years, several proteins involved in import and/or export of these compounds have been characterized using biochemical and electrophysiological approaches, and in addition have been identified at the molecular level. Several solute channels have been identified in the outer envelope membrane. These porin-like proteins in the outer envelope membrane were formerly thought to be quite unspecific, but have now been shown to exhibit significant substrate specificity and to be highly regulated. Therefore, the inter-envelope membrane space is not as freely accessible as previously thought. Transport proteins in the inner envelope membrane have been characterized in more detail. It has been proved unequivocally that a family of proteins (including triose phosphate-/phosphoenolpyruvate-, and glucose 6-phosphate-specific transporters) permit the exchange of inorganic phosphate and phosphorylated intermediates. A new type of plastidic 2-oxoglutarate/malate transporter has been identified and represents the first carrier with 12 putative transmembrane domains, to be located in the inner envelope membrane. The plastidic ATP/ADP transporter also contains 12 putative transmembrane domains and possesses striking structural similarity to ATP/ADP transporters found in intracellular, human pathogenic bacteria. (+info)
Identification of the pore-forming region of the outer chloroplast envelope protein OEP16.
The chloroplast outer envelope protein OEP16 forms a cation-selective high conductance channel with permeability to amines and amino acids. The region of OEP16 directly involved in channel formation has been identified by electrophysiological analysis of a selection of reconstituted OEP16 mutants. Because analysis of these mutants depended on the use of recombinant protein, we evaluated the electrophysiological properties of OEP16 isolated directly from pea chloroplasts and of the recombinant protein produced in Escherichia coli. The results show that the basic properties like conductance, selectivity, and open probability of the channel formed by native pea OEP16 are comparable with the channel activity formed by the recombinant source of the protein. Following electrophysiological analysis of OEP16 mutants we found that point mutations and insertion of additional amino acid residues in the region of the putative helix 1 (Glu(73) to Val(91)) did not change the properties of the OEP16 channel. The only exception was a Cys(71)-->Ser mutation, which led to a loss of the CuCl(2) sensitivity of the channel. Analysis of N- and C-terminal deletion mutants of OEP16 and mutants containing defined shuffled domains indicated that the minimal continuous region of OEP16, which is able to form a channel in liposomes, lies in the first half of the protein between amino acid residues 21 and 93. (+info)
Ontogenetic changes of potato plants during acclimation to elevated carbon dioxide.
Transgenic potato plants (Solanum tuberosum cv. Desiree) with an antisense repression of the chloroplastic triosephosphate translocator were compared with wild-type plants. Plants were grown in chambers with either an atmosphere with ambient (400 mu bar) or elevated (1000 mu bar) CO2. After 7 weeks, the rate of CO2 assimilation between wild-type and transgenic plants in both CO2 concentrations was identical, but the tuber yield of both plant lines was increased by about 30%, when grown in elevated CO2. One explanation is that plants respond to the elevated CO2 only at a certain growth stage. Therefore, growth of wild-type plants was analysed between the second and the seventh week. Relative growth rate and CO2 assimilation were stimulated in elevated CO2 only in the second and the third weeks. During this period, the carbohydrate content of leaves grown with elevated CO2 was lower than that of leaves grown with ambient CO2. In plants grown in elevated CO2, the rate of CO2 assimilation started to decline after 5 weeks, and accumulation of carbohydrates began after 7 weeks. From this observation it was concluded that acclimation of potato plants to elevated CO2 is the result of accelerated development rather than of carbohydrate accumulation causing down-regulation of photosynthesis. For a detailed analysis for the cause of the stimulation of growth after 2 weeks, the contents of phosphorylated intermediates of wild-type plants and transgenics were measured. Stimulation of CO2 assimilation was accompanied by changes in the contents of phosphorylated intermediates, resulting in an increase in the amount of dihydroxyacetone phosphate, the metabolite which is exported from the chloroplast into the cytosol. An increase of dihydroxyacetone phosphate was found in wild-type plants in elevated CO2 when compared with ambient CO2 and in triosephosphate translocator antisense plants in ambient CO2, but not in the transgenic plants when grown in elevated CO2. These plants were not able to increase dihydroxyacetone phosphate further to cope with the increased CO2 supply. From these changes in phosphorylated intermediates in wild-type and transgenic plants it was concluded that starch and sucrose synthesis pathways can replace each other only at moderate carbon flux rates. (+info)
Chloroplast precursor proteins compete to form early import intermediates in isolated pea chloroplasts.
In order to ascertain whether there is one site for the import of precursor proteins into chloroplasts or whether different precursor proteins are imported via different import machineries, chloroplasts were incubated with large quantities of the precursor of the 33 kDa subunit of the oxygen-evolving complex (pOE33) or the precursor of the light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b-binding protein (pLHCP) and tested for their ability to import a wide range of other chloroplast precursor proteins. Both pOE33 and pLHCP competed for import into chloroplasts with precursors of the stromally-targeted small subunit of Rubisco (pSSu), ferredoxin NADP(+) reductase (pFNR) and porphobilinogen deaminase; the thylakoid membrane proteins LHCP and the Rieske iron-sulphur protein (pRieske protein); ferrochelatase and the gamma subunit of the ATP synthase (which are both associated with the thylakoid membrane); the thylakoid lumenal protein plastocyanin and the phosphate translocator, an integral membrane protein of the inner envelope. The concentrations of pOE33 or pLHCP required to cause half-maximal inhibition of import ranged between 0.2 and 4.9 microM. These results indicate that all of these proteins are imported into the chloroplast by a common import machinery. Incubation of chloroplasts with pOE33 inhibited the formation of early import intermediates of pSSu, pFNR and pRieske protein. (+info)
The effect of amino acid-modifying reagents on chloroplast protein import and the formation of early import intermediates.
In order to identify functionally important amino acid residues in the chloroplast protein import machinery, chloroplasts were preincubated with amino-acid-modifying reagents and then allowed to import or form early import intermediates with precursor proteins. Incubation of chloroplasts with N-ethyl maleimide, diethyl pyrocarbonate, phenylglyoxal, 4,4'-di-isothiocyanatostilbene 2,2'-disulphonic acid (DIDS), dicyclohexylcarbodiimide (DCCD), and 1-ethyl- 3-dimethylaminopropylcarbodiimide (EDC) inhibited both import and formation of early import intermediates with precursor proteins by chloroplasts. This suggests that one or more of the binding components of the chloroplast protein import machinery contains functionally important solvent-exposed cysteine, histidine, arginine, and aspartate/glutamate residues, as well as functionally important lysine and aspartate/ glutamate residues in a hydrophobic environment. (+info)
Involvement of a site-specific trans-acting factor and a common RNA-binding protein in the editing of chloroplast mRNAs: development of a chloroplast in vitro RNA editing system.
RNA editing in higher plant chloroplasts involves C-->U conversion at approximately 30 specific sites. An in vitro system supporting accurate editing has been developed from tobacco chloroplasts. Mutational analysis of substrate mRNAs derived from tobacco chloroplast psbL and ndhB mRNAs confirmed the participation of cis-acting elements that had previously been identified in vivo. Competition analysis revealed the existence of site-specific trans-acting factors interacting with the corresponding upstream cis-elements. A chloroplast protein of 25 kDa was found to be specifically associated with the cis-element involved in psbL mRNA editing. Immunological analyses revealed that an additional factor, the chloroplast RNA-binding protein cp31, is also required for RNA editing at multiple sites. This combination of site-specific and common RNA-binding proteins recognizes editing sites in chloroplasts. (+info)
Transcriptional repression and developmental functions of the atypical vertebrate GATA protein TRPS1.
Known vertebrate GATA proteins contain two zinc fingers and are required in development, whereas invertebrates express a class of essential proteins containing one GATA-type zinc finger. We isolated the gene encoding TRPS1, a vertebrate protein with a single GATA-type zinc finger. TRPS1 is highly conserved between Xenopus and mammals, and the human gene is implicated in dominantly inherited tricho-rhino-phalangeal (TRP) syndromes. TRPS1 is a nuclear protein that binds GATA sequences but fails to transactivate a GATA-dependent reporter. Instead, TRPS1 potently and specifically represses transcriptional activation mediated by other GATA factors. Repression does not occur from competition for DNA binding and depends on a C-terminal region related to repressive domains found in Ikaros proteins. During mouse development, TRPS1 expression is prominent in sites showing pathology in TRP syndromes, which are thought to result from TRPS1 haploinsufficiency. We show instead that truncating mutations identified in patients encode dominant inhibitors of wild-type TRPS1 function, suggesting an alternative mechanism for the disease. TRPS1 is the first example of a GATA protein with intrinsic transcriptional repression activity and possibly a negative regulator of GATA-dependent processes in vertebrate development. (+info)
Identification of an RNA-protein complex involved in chloroplast group II intron trans-splicing in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.
In Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, the psaA mRNA is assembled by a process involving trans-splicing of separate transcripts, encoded at three separate loci of the chloroplast genome. At least 14 nuclear loci and one chloroplast gene, tscA, are needed for this process. We have cloned Raa3, the first nuclear gene implicated in the splicing of intron 1. The predicted sequence of Raa3 consists of 1783 amino acids and shares a small region of homology with pyridoxamine 5'-phosphate oxidases. Raa3 is present in the soluble fraction of the chloroplast and is part of a large 1700 kDa complex, which also contains tscA RNA and the first psaA exon transcript. These partners, in association with other factors, form a chloroplast RNP particle that is required for the splicing of the first intron of psaA and which may be the counterpart of eukaryotic snRNPs involved in nuclear splicing. (+info)