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Biochimie. 2006 Sep;88(9):1217-28. Epub 2006 Apr 19.

Phosphorylation of the spinach chloroplast 24 kDa RNA-binding protein (24RNP) increases its binding to petD and psbA 3' untranslated regions.

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Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular de Plantas, Facultad de Química, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Cd. Universitaria, 04510 Mexico, D.F. Mexico.


The chloroplast 24 kDa RNA binding protein (24RNP) from Spinacea oleracea is a nuclear encoded protein that binds the 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) of some chloroplast mRNAs and seems to be involved in some processes of mRNA metabolism, such as 3'UTR processing, maturation and stabilization. The 24RNP is similar to the 28RNP which is involved in the correct maturation of petD and psbA 3'UTRs, and when phosphorylated, decreases its binding affinity for RNA. In the present work, we determined that the recombinant 24RNP was phosphorylated in vitro either by an animal protein kinase C, a plant Ca(2+)-dependent protein kinase, or a chloroplastic kinase activity present in a protein extract with 3'-end processing activity in which the 24RNP is also present. Phosphorylation of 24RNP increased the binding capacity (B(max)) 0.25 time for petD 3'UTR, and three times for psbA 3'UTR; the affinity for P-24RNP only increased when the interaction with petD was tested. Competition experiments suggested that B(max), not K(d), might be a more important factor in the P-24RNP-3'UTR interaction. The data suggested that the 24RNP role in chloroplast mRNA metabolism may be regulated in vivo by changes in its phosphorylation status carried out by a chloroplastic kinase.

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