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Plant Cell. 2010 May;22(5):1498-515. doi: 10.1105/tpc.109.071001. Epub 2010 May 28.

Plastidial thioredoxin z interacts with two fructokinase-like proteins in a thiol-dependent manner: evidence for an essential role in chloroplast development in Arabidopsis and Nicotiana benthamiana.

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Max-Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Golm, Germany.


Here, we characterize a plastidial thioredoxin (TRX) isoform from Arabidopsis thaliana that defines a previously unknown branch of plastidial TRXs lying between x- and y-type TRXs and thus was named TRX z. An Arabidopsis knockout mutant of TRX z had a severe albino phenotype and was inhibited in chloroplast development. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR analysis of the mutant suggested that the expressions of genes that depend on a plastid-encoded RNA polymerase (PEP) were specifically decreased. Similar results were obtained upon virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) of the TRX z ortholog in Nicotiana benthamiana. We found that two fructokinase-like proteins (FLN1 and FLN2), members of the pfkB-carbohydrate kinase family, were potential TRX z target proteins and identified conserved Cys residues mediating the FLN-TRX z interaction. VIGS in N. benthamiana and inducible RNA interference in Arabidopsis of FLNs also led to a repression of PEP-dependent gene transcription. Remarkably, recombinant FLNs displayed no detectable sugar-phosphorylating activity, and amino acid substitutions within the predicted active site imply that the FLNs have acquired a new function, which might be regulatory rather than metabolic. We were able to show that the FLN2 redox state changes in vivo during light/dark transitions and that this change is mediated by TRX z. Taken together, our data strongly suggest an important role for TRX z and both FLNs in the regulation of PEP-dependent transcription in chloroplasts.

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