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Proteomics. 2009 Sep;9(17):4229-40. doi: 10.1002/pmic.200900064.

A survey of the Arabidopsis thaliana mitochondrial phosphoproteome.

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Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia.


Plant mitochondria play central roles in cellular energy production, metabolism and stress responses. Recent phosphoproteomic studies in mammalian and yeast mitochondria have presented evidence indicating that protein phosphorylation is a likely regulatory mechanism across a broad range of important mitochondrial processes. This study investigated protein phosphorylation in purified mitochondria from cell suspensions of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana using affinity enrichment and proteomic tools. Eighteen putative phosphoproteins consisting of mitochondrial metabolic enzymes, HSPs, a protease and several proteins of unknown function were detected on 2-DE separations of Arabidopsis mitochondrial proteins and affinity-enriched phosphoproteins using the Pro-Q Diamond phospho-specific in-gel dye. Comparisons with mitochondrial phosphoproteomes of yeast and mouse indicate that these three species share few validated phosphoproteins. Phosphorylation sites for seven of the eighteen mitochondrial proteins were characterized by titanium dioxide enrichment and MS/MS. In the process, 71 phosphopeptides from Arabidopsis proteins which are not present in mitochondria but found as contaminants in various types of mitochondrial preparations were also identified, indicating the low level of phosphorylation of mitochondrial components compared with other cellular components in Arabidopsis. Information gained from this study provides a better understanding of protein phosphorylation at both the subcellular and the cellular level in Arabidopsis.

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