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Free Content A novel in vitro system for simultaneous import of precursor proteins into mitochondria and chloroplasts

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Summary

Most chloroplast and mitochondrial precursor proteins are targeted specifically to either chloroplasts or mitochondria. However, there is a group of proteins that are dual targeted to both organelles. We have developed a novel in vitro system for simultaneous import of precursor proteins into mitochondria and chloroplasts (dual import system). The mitochondrial precursor of alternative oxidase, AOX was specifically targeted only to mitochondria. The chloroplastic precursor of small subunit of pea ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase, Rubisco, was mistargeted to pea mitochondria in a single import system, but was imported only into chloroplasts in the dual import system. The dual targeted glutathione reductase GR precursor was targeted to both mitochondria and chloroplasts in both systems. The GR pre-sequence could support import of the mature Rubisco protein into mitochondria and chloroplasts in the single import system but only into chloroplasts in the dual import system. Although the GR pre-sequence could support import of the mature portion of the mitochondrial FAd subunit of the ATP synthase into mitochondria and chloroplasts, mature AOX protein was only imported into mitochondria under the control of the GR pre-sequence in both systems. These results show that the novel dual import system is superior to the single import system as it abolishes mistargeting of chloroplast precursors into pea mitochondria observed in a single organelle import system. The results clearly show that although the GR pre-sequence has dual targeting ability, this ability is dependent on the nature of the mature protein.
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Keywords: Dual targeting; chloroplast import; mitochondrial import; targeting specificity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Arrhenius Laboratories for Natural Sciences, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden 2: Plant Molecular Biology Group, School of Biomedical and Chemical Sciences, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley 6009, WA, Australia

Publication date: April 1, 2002

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