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Plant Cell. 1993 Dec;5(12):1865-1876.

Newly Imported Rieske Iron-Sulfur Protein Associates with Both Cpn60 and Hsp70 in the Chloroplast Stroma.

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  • 1Department of Plant Sciences and Cambridge Centre for Molecular Recognition, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EA, United Kingdom.


The precursor of the Rieske FeS protein, a thylakoid membrane protein, was imported by isolated pea chloroplasts, and the mature protein was shown to be integrated into the cytochrome bf complex of the thylakoid membranes. Insertion into the thylakoid membrane was sensitive to the ionophores nigericin and valinomycin, suggesting a requirement for a proton motive force. A considerable proportion of the imported Rieske protein was detected in the stromal fraction of the chloroplasts, and this increased when membrane insertion was blocked with ionophores. Electrophoresis of the stromal fraction under nondenaturing conditions resolved two distinct complexes containing the Rieske protein. One of these complexes was identified as an association of the Rieske protein with the chaperonin Cpn60 complex by its electrophoretic mobility, Mg-ATP-dependent dissociation, and immunoprecipitation with anti-Cpn60 antibodies. Coimmunoprecipitation of imported Rieske protein with anti-heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) antibodies indicated that the Rieske protein was also associated, in an ATP-dissociable form, with a chloroplast Hsp70 homolog. Immunoprecipitation analysis of an import time course detected the highest amounts of the Cpn60-Rieske protein complex early in the time course, whereas highest amounts of the Hsp70-Rieske protein complex were formed much later. The disappearance of the Cpn60-Rieske protein complex correlated with increased amounts of the Rieske protein in the thylakoid fraction.

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