The ClpP peptidase is a major constituent of the proteolytic machinery of bacteria and organelles. The chloroplast ClpP complex is unusual, in that it associates a large number of subunits, one of which (ClpP1) is encoded in the chloroplast, the others in the nucleus. The complexity of these large hetero-oligomeric complexes has been a major difficulty in their overproduction and biochemical characterization. In this paper, we describe the purification of native chloroplast ClpP complex from the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, using a strain that carries the Strep-tag II at the C-terminus of the ClpP1 subunit. Similar to land plants, the algal complex comprises active and inactive subunits (3 ClpP and 5 ClpR, respectively). Evidence is presented that a sub-complex can be produced by dissociation, comprising ClpP1 and ClpR1, 2, 3 and 4, similar to the ClpR-ring described in land plants. Our Chlamydomonas ClpP preparation also contains two ClpT subunits, ClpT3 and ClpT4, which like the land plant ClpT1 and ClpT2 show 2 Clp-N domains. ClpTs are believed to function in substrate binding and/or assembly of the two heptameric rings. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that ClpT subunits have appeared independently in Chlorophycean algae, in land plants and in dispersed cyanobacterial genomes. Negative staining electron microscopy shows that the Chlamydomonas complex retains the barrel-like shape of homo-oligomeric ClpPs, with 4 additional peripheral masses that we speculate represent either the additional IS1 domain of ClpP1 (a feature unique to algae) or ClpTs or extensions of ClpR subunits.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 8, 2012
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