Synthetic analogues of a transit peptide inhibit binding or translocation of chloroplastic precursor proteins

Sharyn E. Perry, Wilson E. Buvinger, John Bennett, Kenneth Keegstra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Although amino-terminal transit peptides of chloroplastic precursor proteins are known to be necessary and sufficient for import into chloroplasts, the mechanism by which they mediate this process is not understood. Another important question is whether different precursors share a common transport apparatus. We used 20-residue synthetic peptides corresponding to regions of the transit peptide of the precursor to the small subunit of ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase (prSS) as competitive inhibitors for the binding and translocation of precursor proteins into chloroplasts. Synthetic peptides with sequences corresponding to either end of the transit peptide had little to no effect on binding of prSS to chloroplasts, but significantly inhibited its translocation. Synthetic peptides corresponding to the central region of the transit peptide inhibited binding of prSS to chloroplasts. Each of the peptides inhibited binding or translocation of precursors to light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b protein, ferredoxin, and plastocyanin in the same manner and to a similar extent as prSS transport was inhibited. The results presented in this paper suggest that the central regions of the transit peptide of prSS mediate binding to the chloroplastic surface, whereas the ends of this transit peptide are more important for translocation across the envelope. Furthermore, all of the precursors tested appear to share components in the transport apparatus even though they are sorted to different chloroplastic compartments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11882-11889
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number18
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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