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A substrate-independent, 14:3:3 protein-mediated plastid import pathway of NADPH:protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase A

Schemenewitz, Andreas, Pollmann, Stephan, Reinbothe, Christiane, Reinbothe, Steffen
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2007 v.104 no.20 pp. 8538-8543
Hordeum vulgare, barley, protein transport, plastids, protein-protein interactions, oxidoreductases, zymogens, chloroplasts, plant proteins, binding proteins
Plastids are semiautonomous organelles that contain only limited coding information in their own DNA. Because most of their genome was transferred to the nucleus after their endosymbiotic origin, plastids must import the major part of their protein constituents from the cytosol. The exact role of cytosolic targeting factors in the regulation of plastid protein import has not been determined. Here, we report that the nucleus-encoded NADPH:protochlorophyllide (Pchlide) oxidoreductase A plastid precursor (pPORA) can use two different plastid import pathways that differ by the requirements for cytosolic 14:3:3 proteins and Hsp70. pPORA synthesized in a wheat germ lysate segregated into different precursor fractions. While import of free pPORA and only Hsp70-complexed pPORA was Pchlide-dependent and involved the previously identified Pchlide-dependent translocon, 14:3:3 protein- and Hsp70-complexed pPORA was transported into Pchlide-free chloroplasts through the Toc75-containing standard translocon at the outer chloroplast membrane/translocon at the inner chloroplast membrane machinery. A 14:3:3 protein binding site was identified in the mature region of the ³⁵S-pPORA, which governed 14:3:3 protein- and Hsp70-mediated, Pchlide-independent plastid import. Collectively, our results reveal that the import of pPORA into the plastids is tightly regulated and involves different cytosolic targeting factors and plastid envelope translocon complexes.