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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Dec 19;97(26):14813-8.

Characterization of Mbb1, a nucleus-encoded tetratricopeptide-like repeat protein required for expression of the chloroplast psbB/psbT/psbH gene cluster in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

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  • 1Departments of Molecular Biology and Plant Biology, University of Geneva, 30, quai Ernest-Ansermet, CH-1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.


Genetic analysis has revealed that the accumulation of several chloroplast mRNAs of the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii requires specific nucleus-encoded functions. To gain insight into this process, we have cloned the nuclear gene encoding the Mbb1 factor by genomic rescue of a mutant specifically deficient in the accumulation of the mRNAs of the psbB/psbT/psbH chloroplast transcription unit. Mbb1 is a soluble protein in the stromal phase of the chloroplast. It consists of 662 amino acids with a putative chloroplast-transit peptide at its N-terminal end. A striking feature is the presence of 10 tandemly arranged tetratricopeptide-like repeats that account for half of the protein sequence and are thought to be involved in protein-protein interactions. The Mbb1 protein seems to have a homologue in higher plants and is part of a 300-kDa complex that is associated with RNA. This complex is most likely involved in psbB mRNA processing, stability, and/or translation.

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