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Microbiol Rev. Dec 1994; 58(4): 700–754.
PMCID: PMC372988

Chloroplast ribosomes and protein synthesis.

Abstract

Consistent with their postulated origin from endosymbiotic cyanobacteria, chloroplasts of plants and algae have ribosomes whose component RNAs and proteins are strikingly similar to those of eubacteria. Comparison of the secondary structures of 16S rRNAs of chloroplasts and bacteria has been particularly useful in identifying highly conserved regions likely to have essential functions. Comparative analysis of ribosomal protein sequences may likewise prove valuable in determining their roles in protein synthesis. This review is concerned primarily with the RNAs and proteins that constitute the chloroplast ribosome, the genes that encode these components, and their expression. It begins with an overview of chloroplast genome structure in land plants and algae and then presents a brief comparison of chloroplast and prokaryotic protein-synthesizing systems and a more detailed analysis of chloroplast rRNAs and ribosomal proteins. A description of the synthesis and assembly of chloroplast ribosomes follows. The review concludes with discussion of whether chloroplast protein synthesis is essential for cell survival.

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Selected References

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