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Plant J. 2010 Jul;63(2):203-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2010.04240.x. Epub 2010 Apr 28.

Chloroplast stromal proteins, CRR6 and CRR7, are required for assembly of the NAD(P)H dehydrogenase subcomplex A in Arabidopsis.

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Department of Botany, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan.


In higher plants, the chloroplast NAD(P)H dehydrogenase (NDH) complex mediates chlororespiration and photosystem I (PSI) cyclic electron transport in thylakoid membranes. Because of its low abundance and fragility, our knowledge on the assembly of chloroplast NDH is very limited, and some nuclear-encoded factors may be involved in this process. We show here that two Arabidopsis proteins, CHLORORESPIRATORY REDUCTION 6 (CRR6) and CRR7, which were previously identified in mutants specifically defective in NDH accumulation, are present in the stroma, and their stability is independent of the NDH complex, suggesting that they are unlikely to be NDH subunits. Blue native PAGE analysis showed that the accumulation of NDH subcomplex A, which is a core part of NDH that is conserved in divergent species, was specifically impaired in the crr6 and crr7-1 mutants. However, the expression of plastid-encoded genes encoding the subcomplex A subunits was not affected, suggesting that CRR6 and CRR7 are involved in post-translational steps during the biogenesis of subcomplex A. We also discovered that a substantial quantity of NdhH is present in several protein complexes in the chloroplast stroma, possibly as early assembly intermediates of subcomplex A. Although the accumulation of these stromal complexes was not affected in crr6 or crr7-1, CRR6 was co-purified with NdhH, implying that CRR6 functions in the later step of subcomplex-A biogenesis. Accumulation of CRR7 was independent of that of CRR6; we propose that CRR7 functions in a different step in subcomplex-A biogenesis from CRR6.

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