Departmental Papers (Dental)

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Journal Article

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Publication Source

The Plant Cell





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The chloroplast inner envelope membrane (IM) plays essential roles in lipid synthesis, metabolite transport, and cellular signaling in plants. We have targeted a model nucleus-encoded IM protein from Arabidopsis thaliana, pre-Tic40-His, by relocating its expression from the nucleus to the chloroplast genome. Pre-Tic40-His was properly targeted, processed, and inserted. It attained correct topology and was folded and assembled into a TIC complex, where it accounted for up to 15% of the total chloroplast protein. These results confirm the existence of a novel pathway for protein targeting to the IM. Tic40-His overexpression resulted in a massive proliferation of the IM (up to 19 layers in electron micrographs) without significant effects on plant growth or reproduction. Consistent with IM proliferation, the expression levels of other endogenous IM proteins (IEP37, PPT, Tic110) were significantly (10-fold) upregulated but those of outer envelope membrane (Toc159), stromal (hsp93, cpn60), or thylakoid (LHCP, OE23) proteins were not increased, suggesting retrograde signal transduction between chloroplast and nuclear genomes to increase lipid and protein components for accommodation of increased accumulation of Tic40. This study opens the door for understanding the regulation of membrane biogenesis within the organelle and the utilization of transgenic chloroplasts as bioreactors for hyperaccumulation of membrane proteins for biotechnological applications.

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© American Society of Plant Biologists.


At the time of publication, author Henry Daniell was affiliated with the University of Central Florida. Currently, (s)he is a faculty member at the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Dentistry Commons



Date Posted: 01 March 2022

This document has been peer reviewed.