The gene encoding the chloroplast ribosomal protein S1 from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, CreS1, was cloned and the RNA binding properties and the expression patterns were studied. Gel-shift analysis revealed that CreS1 binds AU-rich 5′-untranslated regions (5′-UTR) of chloroplast mRNAs with higher affinity than the corresponding sequence of a GC-rich nuclear transcript. The binding affinity of CreS1 for a mutant form of the psbD 5′-UTR with a deletion of a U-rich stretch that is required for translation decreases 4-fold as compared to the wild-type 5′-UTR. Our results suggest that CreS1 protein interacts with U-rich sequences. Most of CreS1 is bound to high-molecular-weight complexes which co-migrate with the 30S small ribosomal subunit, and only a small fraction of CreS1 exists in its free form. CreS1 is localized mainly to the chloroplast stroma albeit a significant fraction is associated with chloroplast membranes. The results suggest that most of CreS1 is associated with the 30S ribosomal subunit throughout the translation process. Upon a shift of cells from the dark to the light, the mRNA levels of CreS1 and Psrp-7, both components of the 30S ribosomal subunit, increase transiently and return to the dark levels after 8 h. However, during this dark-to-light transition the levels of CreS1 and of other components of the 30S subunit remain the same suggesting that either protein synthesis or degradation is regulated. The possible implications of these findings are discussed.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 7, 2004
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