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Plant Cell Physiol. 2008 Mar;49(3):396-410. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pcn016. Epub 2008 Feb 7.

Expression of protein complexes and individual proteins upon transition of etioplasts to chloroplasts in pea (Pisum sativum).

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Department of Biology, University of Turku, FIN-20014 Turku, Finland.


The protein complexes of pea (Pisum sativum L.) etioplasts, etio-chloroplasts and chloroplasts were examined using 2D Blue Native/SDS-PAGE. The most prominent protein complexes in etioplasts were the ATPase and the Clp and FtsH protease complexes which probably have a crucial role in the biogenesis of etioplasts and chloroplasts. Also the cytochrome b(6)f (Cyt b(6)f) complex was assembled in the etioplast membrane, as well as Rubisco, at least partially, in the stroma. These complexes are composed of proteins encoded by both the plastid and nuclear genomes, indicating that a functional cross-talk exists between pea etioplasts and the nucleus. In contrast, the proteins and protein complexes that bind chlorophyll, with the PetD subunit and the entire Cyt b(6)f complex as an exception, did not accumulate in etioplasts. Nevertheless, some PSII core components such as PsbE and the luminal oxygen-evolvong complex (OEC) proteins PsbO and PsbP accumulated efficiently in etioplasts. After 6 h de-etiolation, a complete PSII core complex appeared with 40% of the maximal photochemical efficiency, but a fully functional PSII was recorded only after 24 h illumination. Similarly, the core complex of PSI was assembled after 6 h illumination, whereas the PSI-light-harvesting complex I was stably assembled only in chloroplasts illuminated for 24 h. Moreover, a battery of proteins responsible for defense against oxidative stress accumulated particularly in etioplasts, including the stromal and thylakoidal forms of ascorbate peroxidase, glutathione reductase and PsbS.

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