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Trends Plant Sci. 2001 Dec;6(12):566-72.

Organellar peptide deformylases: universality of the N-terminal methionine cleavage mechanism.

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  • 1Institut des Sciences du Végétal, UPR2355, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Bâtiment 23, 1 avenue de la Terrasse, F-91198 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France.


Most mature proteins do not retain their initial N-terminal amino acid (methionine in the cytosol and N-formyl methionine in the organelles). Recent studies have shown that dedicated machinery is involved in this process in plants. In addition to cytosolic and organelle-targeted methionine aminopeptidases, organellar peptide deformylases have been identified. Here, we attempt to answer questions about the mechanism, specificity and significance of N-terminal methionine cleavage in plant organelles. It seems to be universal because orthologues of plant deformylases are found in most living organisms.

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