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Free Content Nuclear suppressors define three factors that participate in both 5′ and 3′ end processing of mRNAs in Chlamydomonas chloroplasts

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Chloroplast RNA processing and degradation are orchestrated by nucleus‐encoded factors. Although several transcript‐specific factors have been identified, those involved in global RNA metabolism have mostly remained elusive. Using Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, we have identified three pleiotropic nuclear mutations, mcd3, mcd4 and mcd5, which cause quantitative variation between polycistronic transcripts and accumulation of transcripts with novel 3′ ends. The mcd3, mcd4 and mcd5 mutants were initially isolated as photoautotrophic suppressors of the petD 5′ mutants LS2 and LS6, which harbour four nucleotide linker‐scanning mutations near the 5′ end of the mature transcript. The LS mutants accumulate 1–3% of the wild‐type (WT) petD mRNA level and no cytochrome b6/f complex subunit IV, which is the petD gene product and required for photosynthesis. Each suppressor restores approximately 15% of the WT petD mRNA and subunit IV levels. Genetic analysis showed mcd4 to be recessive, and suggested that MCD4 interacts with the petD mRNA stability factor MCD1. To assess the specificity of mcd3, mcd4 and mcd5, transcripts from 32 chloroplast genes were analysed by RNA filter hybridizations. mcd3 and mcd4 displayed aberrant transcript patterns for 17 genes, whereas only three were altered in mcd5. Since the mutations affect multiple RNAs in a variety of ways, our data suggest that MCD3, MCD4 and MCD5 may participate in a series of multiprotein complexes responsible for RNA maturation and degradation in Chlamydomonas chloroplasts.
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Keywords: Chlamydomonas; chloroplast RNA processing; petD

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Boyce Thompson Institute, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA, and 2: Department of Biological Sciences, University of Wisconsin–Parkside, 900 Wood Road, Kenosha, WI 53141-2000, USA

Publication date: May 1, 2006

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