The chloroplast psbB operon includes five genes encoding photosystem II and cytochrome b 6 /f complex components. The psbN gene is located on the opposite strand. PsbN is localized in the thylakoid and is present even in the dark, although its level increases upon illumination and then decreases. However, the translation mechanism of the psbN mRNA remains unclear. Using an in vitro translation system from tobacco chloroplasts and a green fluorescent protein as a reporter protein, we show that translation occurs from a tobacco primary psbN 5′-UTR of 47 nucleotides (nt). Unlike many other chloroplast 5′-UTRs, the psbN 5′-UTR has two processing sites, at −39 and −24 upstream from the initiation site. Processing at −39 enhanced the translation rate fivefold. In contrast, processing at −24 did not affect the translation rate. These observations suggest that the two distinct processing events regulate, at least in part, the level of PsbN during development. The psbN 5′-UTR has no Shine–Dalgarno (SD)-like sequence. In vitro translation assays with excess amounts of the psbN 5′-UTR or with deleted psbN 5′-UTR sequences demonstrated that protein factors are required for translation and that their binding site is an 18 nt sequence in the 5′-UTR. Mobility shift assays using 10 other chloroplast 5′-UTRs suggested that common or similar proteins are involved in translation of a set of mRNAs lacking SD-like sequences.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 9, 2014
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