Journal Article

In Vivo Studies on the Roles of Two Closely Related Arabidopsis Tic20 Proteins, AtTic20-I and AtTic20-IV

Yoshino Hirabayashi, Shingo Kikuchi, Maya Oishi and Masato Nakai

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 52, issue 3, pages 469-478
Published in print March 2011 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online January 2011 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pcr010
In Vivo Studies on the Roles of Two Closely Related Arabidopsis Tic20 Proteins, AtTic20-I and AtTic20-IV

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  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry

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Protein translocation across the inner envelope of plastids is mediated by the TIC (translocon at the inner envelope membrane of chloroplasts) protein translocation machinery. Tic20 has been shown to function as a central component of TIC machinery. The Arabidopsis genome encodes four Tic20 homologous proteins, AtTic20-I, AtTic20-II, AtTIC20-IV and AtTic20-V, among which only AtTic20-I has been extensively characterized and demonstrated to be essential for protein import into chloroplasts. AtTic20-I is more closely related to AtTic20-IV than to AtTic20-II or AtTic20-V, whereas AtTic20-II and AtTic20-V show higher similarities to each other than to AtTic20-I or AtTic20-IV. Here, we show that AtTic20-IV is expressed mainly in roots whereas AtTic20-I is more abundant in shoots than in roots. Although AtTic20-IV is dispensable for viability in the wild-type background, interestingly, expression of AtTic20-IV is markedly elevated in both shoots and roots in the tic20-I knockout mutant that exhibits severe albino and seedling-lethal phenotypes. The albino tic20-I seedlings do not accumulate any of the photosynthetic proteins analyzed, but the plastids can still import non-photosynthetic housekeeping proteins. This residual import ability of the tic20-I mutant can be attributed to partial compensation by the elevated expression of AtTic20-IV, since a double knockout mutant of AtTic20-I and AtTic20-IV exhibits more severe embryonic lethality. Further overexpression of AtTic20-IV in the tic20-I mutant can only marginally rescue the accumulation of photosynthetic proteins in the albino seedlings. These data demonstrate an absolute requirement of at least one of the two closely related Tic20 proteins in protein translocation across the inner envelope of plastids and also suggest their distinct substrate preferences.

Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; Chloroplast; Inner envelope; Plastid; Protein import; Tic20

Journal Article.  5659 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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