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FEBS Lett. 2001 Oct 12;506(3):257-61.

A vesicle transport system inside chloroplasts.

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Botanisches Institut der Christian-Albrechts-Universit├Ąt Kiel, Am Botanischen Garten 1-9, D-24118, Kiel, Germany.


Intracellular transport via membrane vesicle traffic is a well known feature of eukaryotic cells. Yet, no vesicle transport system has been described for prokaryotes or organelles of prokaryotic origin, such as chloroplasts and mitochondria. Here we show that chloroplasts possess a vesicle transport system with features similar to vesicle traffic in homotypic membrane fusion. Vesicle formation and fusion is affected by specific inhibitors, e.g. nucleotide analogues, protein phosphatase inhibitors and Ca2+ antagonists. This vesicle transfer is an ongoing process in mature chloroplasts indicating that it represents an important new pathway in the formation and maintenance of the thylakoid membranes.

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