Rhodanese-domain proteins (RDPs) are widespread in plants and other organisms, but their biological roles are mostly unknown. Here we report on a novel RDP from Chlamydomonas that has a single rhodanese domain, and a predicted chloroplast transit peptide. The protein was produced in Escherichia coli with a His-tag, but lacking most of the N-terminal transit peptide, and after purification was found to have rhodanese activity in vitro. It was also used to elicit antibodies for western blot analysis, which showed that the native Chlamydomonas protein migrated slower on SDS gels (apparent Mr = 34 kDa) than its predicted size (27 kDa), and co-fractionated with chloroplasts. To assess function in vivo, the tandem-RNAi approach was used to generate Chlamydomonas strains that had reductions of 30–70 % for the mRNA and ~20–40 % for the 34-kDa protein. These strains showed reduced growth under all trophic conditions, and were sensitive to even moderate light; properties reminiscent of chloroplast translation mutants. Pulse-labeling in the presence of cycloheximide indicated that chloroplast protein synthesis was broadly reduced in the RNAi strains, and transcript analysis (by RT-PCR and northern blotting) indicated the effect was mainly translational. These results identify a novel rhodanese-like protein that we have named CRLT, because it is required to maintain chloroplast translation.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: May 29, 2012
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