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Evidence for a protein transported through the secretory pathway en route to the higher plant chloroplast

An Erratum to this article was published on 02 December 2005


In contrast to animal and fungal cells, green plant cells contain one or multiple chloroplasts, the organelle(s) in which photosynthetic reactions take place. Chloroplasts are believed to have originated from an endosymbiotic event and contain DNA that codes for some of their proteins. Most chloroplast proteins are encoded by the nuclear genome and imported with the help of sorting signals that are intrinsic parts of the polypeptides. Here, we show that a chloroplast-located protein in higher plants takes an alternative route through the secretory pathway, and becomes N-glycosylated before entering the chloroplast.

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Figure 1: The deduced amino-acid sequence of CAH1 (a).
Figure 2: CAH1 is taken up into the endoplasmic reticulum and glycosylated.
Figure 3: Chloroplast stroma contains an N-glycosylated isoform of CAH1.
Figure 4: Effect of BFA on chloroplast targeted CAH1–GFP fusion construct in Arabidopsis protoplasts (a–e) and native CAH1 in Arabidopsis cell suspensions (f).


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We thank A. Kraut for technical assistance in the transient expression of GFP fusions in plant cells; L. Faye for the gift of antibodies against xylose and fucose residues; C. Robinson for helpful discussion; and J. Brangeon and R. Boyer for technical help in the immunocytochemistry experiments. The authors are grateful to B. Martin for critical reading of the manuscript. This work was supported by grants from the Swedish National Research Council, FORMAS, Wallenberg and Kempe Foundations, and the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research.

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Correspondence to Göran Samuelsson.

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Supplementary Methods and Results plus Supplementary figures S1, S2 and S3 (PDF 2717 kb)

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Villarejo, A., Burén, S., Larsson, S. et al. Evidence for a protein transported through the secretory pathway en route to the higher plant chloroplast. Nat Cell Biol 7, 1224–1231 (2005).

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