C. D. Dickinson, EHA. Hussein and N. C. Nielsen United States Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service, Department of Agronomy, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907 Glycinin, like other 11S seed storage proteins, undergoes a complex series of posttranslational events between the time proglycinin precursors are synthesized in endoplasmic reticulum and the mature glycinin subunits are deposited in vacuolar protein bodies. According to the current understanding of this process, proglycinin subunits aggregate into trimers in endoplasmic reticulum, and then the trimers move to the vacuolar protein bodies where a protease cleaves them into acidic and basic polypeptide chains. Stable glycinin hexamers, rather than trimers, are isolated from mature seeds. We used a re-assembly assay in this study to demonstrate that proteolytic cleavage of the proglycinin subunits is required for in vitro assembly of glycinin oligomers beyond the trimer stage. The possibility that the cleavage is a regulatory step and that it triggers the deposition of 11S seed storage proteins as insoluble aggregates in vivo is considered.
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