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Common and Specific Protein Accumulation Patterns in Different Albino/Pale-Green Mutants Reveals Regulon Organization at the Proteome Level


Research interest in proteomics is increasingly shifting toward the reverse genetic characterization of gene function at the proteome level. In plants, several distinct gene defects perturb photosynthetic capacity, resulting in the loss of chlorophyll and an albino or pale-green phenotype. Because photosynthesis is interconnected with the entire plant metabolism and its regulation, all albino plants share common characteristics that are determined by the switch from autotrophic to heterotrophic growth. Reverse genetic characterizations of such plants often cannot distinguish between specific consequences of a gene defect from generic effects in response to perturbations in photosynthetic capacity. Here, we set out to define common and specific features of protein accumulation in three different albino/pale-green plant lines. Using quantitative proteomics, we report a common molecular phenotype that connects the loss of photosynthetic capacity with other chloroplast and cellular functions, such as protein folding and stability, plastid protein import, and the expression of stress-related genes. Surprisingly, we do not find significant differences in the expression of key transcriptional regulators, suggesting that substantial regulation occurs at the posttranscriptional level. We examine the influence of different normalization schemes on the quantitative proteomics data and report all identified proteins along with their fold changes and P values in albino plants in comparison with the wild type. Our analysis provides initial guidance for the distinction between general and specific adaptations of the proteome in photosynthesis-impaired plants.

The Atypical Short-Chain Dehydrogenases HCF173 and HCF244 Are Jointly Involved in Translational Initiation of the psbA mRNA of Arabidopsis


The related proteins D1 and D2 together build up the photosystem II reaction center. Synthesis of D1 (PsbA) is highly regulated in all photosynthetic organisms. The mechanisms and specific protein factors involved in controlled expression of the psbA gene in higher plants are highly elusive. Here, we report on the identification of a chloroplast-located protein, HCF244 (for high chlorophyll fluorescence244), which is essentially required for translational initiation of the psbA messenger RNA in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). The factor is highly conserved between land plants, algae, and cyanobacteria. HCF244 was identified by coexpression analysis of HCF173, which encodes a protein that is also necessary for psbA translational initiation and in addition for stabilization of this messenger RNA. Phenotypic characterization of the mutants hcf244 and hcf173 suggests that the corresponding proteins operate cooperatively during psbA translation. Immunolocalization studies detected the majority of the two proteins at the thylakoid membrane. Both HCF244 and HCF173 are members of the atypical short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase superfamily, a modified group, which has lost enzyme activity but acquires new functions in the metabolism of the cell.

Growth of Transplastomic Cells Expressing d-Amino Acid Oxidase in Chloroplasts Is Tolerant to d-Alanine and Inhibited by d-Valine


Dual-conditional positive/negative selection markers are versatile genetic tools for manipulating genomes. Plastid genomes are relatively small and conserved DNA molecules that can be manipulated precisely by homologous recombination. High-yield expression of recombinant products and maternal inheritance of plastid-encoded traits make plastids attractive sites for modification. Here, we describe the cloning and expression of a dao gene encoding d-amino acid oxidase from Schizosaccharomyces pombe in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plastids. The results provide genetic evidence for the uptake of d-amino acids into plastids, which contain a target that is inhibited by d-alanine. Importantly, this nonantibiotic-based selection system allows the use of cheap and widely available d-amino acids, which are relatively nontoxic to animals and microbes, to either select against (d-valine) or for (d-alanine) cells containing transgenic plastids. Positive/negative selection with d-amino acids was effective in vitro and against transplastomic seedlings grown in soil. The dual functionality of dao is highly suited to the polyploid plastid compartment, where it can be used to provide tolerance against potential d-alanine-based herbicides, control the timing of recombination events such as marker excision, influence the segregation of transgenic plastid genomes, identify loci affecting dao function in mutant screens, and develop d-valine-based methods to manage the spread of transgenic plastids tagged with dao.

Buffering Capacity Explains Signal Variation in Symbiotic Calcium Oscillations


Legumes form symbioses with rhizobial bacteria and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi that aid plant nutrition. A critical component in the establishment of these symbioses is nuclear-localized calcium (Ca2+) oscillations. Different components on the nuclear envelope have been identified as being required for the generation of the Ca2+ oscillations. Among these an ion channel, Doesn't Make Infections1, is preferentially localized on the inner nuclear envelope and a Ca2+ ATPase is localized on both the inner and outer nuclear envelopes. Doesn't Make Infections1 is conserved across plants and has a weak but broad similarity to bacterial potassium channels. A possible role for this cation channel could be hyperpolarization of the nuclear envelope to counterbalance the charge caused by the influx of Ca2+ into the nucleus. Ca2+ channels and Ca2+ pumps are needed for the release and reuptake of Ca2+ from the internal store, which is hypothesized to be the nuclear envelope lumen and endoplasmic reticulum, but the release mechanism of Ca2+ remains to be identified and characterized. Here, we develop a mathematical model based on these components to describe the observed symbiotic Ca2+ oscillations. This model can recapitulate Ca2+ oscillations, and with the inclusion of Ca2+-binding proteins it offers a simple explanation for several previously unexplained phenomena. These include long periods of frequency variation, changes in spike shape, and the initiation and termination of oscillations. The model also predicts that an increase in buffering capacity in the nucleoplasm would cause a period of rapid oscillations. This phenomenon was observed experimentally by adding more of the inducing signal.