Characterization of new putative chloroplast protein import regulation factors in Arabidopsis thaliana

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Title: Characterization of new putative chloroplast protein import regulation factors in Arabidopsis thaliana
Author: Ayupov, Temurkhan
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2020
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Degree program: Erasmus-Mundus Master Program in Plant Breeding (emPlant)
Erasmus-Mundus Master Program in Plant Breeding (emPlant)
Erasmus-Mundus Master Program in Plant Breeding (emPlant)
Specialisation: ei opintosuuntaa
no specialization
ingen studieinriktning
Abstract: Chloroplasts are essential plant photosynthetic organelles evolved from a prokaryotic endosymbiont many years ago. A vast majority of chloroplast proteins are encoded in the nucleus and then imported post-translationally by multiprotein translocases located in the membrane of the organelle. It was identified that outer envelope membrane (OEM) components are subject to ubiquitin-proteasomal degradation, governed by a recently established proteolytic system called CHLORAD (chloroplast-associated degradation). It has been suggested that this machinery is involved in regulation of plastid biogenesis and stress tolerance in plants by protein import regulation and remodelling of the organellar proteome. In this study, to further investigate factors involved in chloroplast protein import regulation, we aimed to characterize two putative regulators SKIP6, an F-box/kelch repeat protein, and ASK1, a component of CUL1-based SCF E3 ligase, identified by tandem affinity purification of TOC components and SP1. We performed physiological analyses on skip6-1 and ask1-1 single mutant Arabidopsis plants to identify whether these factors are required for degradation of OEM translocase components (TOC machinery). To identify an association of these factors with the TOC machinery and CHLORAD components, we employed subcellular localization and co-immunoprecipitation (IP) assays in protoplasts. Double mutant sp1 ppi1 and sp2 ppi1 plants were previously shown to specifically supress an atToc33 mutation (specific suppression of ppi1 chlorosis phenotype), resulting in greener and larger plants. Following, for second-site specific suppressor analyses of the atToc33 mutation, we generated ask1-1 ppi1 double mutant plants and provided their initial characterization. As the CHLORAD system was shown to be vital for plant development and to contribute to stress tolerance, therefore, in this study the involvement of SKIP6 in stress tolerance in mutant plants was analysed by implementing osmotic and salt stresses. Physiological analyses revealed an early-senescence phenotype in the skip6-1 single mutant plants, which could be attributed to degradation of TOC components and subsequent decrease in chlorophyll level. Interestingly, an opposite effect was observed after dark treatment, in which SKIP6 knockout mutants remained greener with higher abundance of TOC proteins and chlorophyll level in comparison to wild-type plants. Stress-induced experiments did not show the involvement of SKIP6 in stress tolerance at early developmental stages. Subcellular localization and co-IP experiments revealed cytosolic localization of SKIP6 and its physical interaction with the TOC machinery, respectively. Obtained double mutant ask1 ppi1 plants presented male sterility as well as growth suppression followed by greener leaves at late developmental stages. In summary, our results provide initial characterization of unknown SKIP6 protein suggesting its involvement as a component of SCF E3 ligase (CUL1-ASK1-SKIP6) in the reorganization of the TOC machinery and CHLORAD components at early and late developmental stages, respectively. These initial data represent one of the first steps towards broadening our knowledge on the regulatory network of chloroplast biogenesis in plants, as well as important advance in the development of new strategies for crop improvement.
Subject: proteasomal degradation
organoid biogenesis
protein import

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