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Plant Mol Biol. 2011 Nov;77(4-5):447-59. doi: 10.1007/s11103-011-9823-8. Epub 2011 Sep 16.

Initial characteristics of RbcX proteins from Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Laboratory of Biophysics, Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Wroclaw, Przybyszewskiego 63/77, Wroclaw, Poland.


Form I of Rubisco (ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase) is composed of eight large (RbcL) and eight small (RbcS) subunits. Assembly of these subunits into a functional holoenzyme requires the assistance of additional assembly factors. One such factor is RbcX, which has been demonstrated to act as a chaperone in the assembly of most cyanobacterial Rubisco complexes expressed in heterologous system established in Escherichia coli cells. Analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana genomic sequence revealed the presence of two genes encoding putative homologues of cyanobacterial RbcX protein: AtRbcX1 (At4G04330) and AtRbcX2 (At5G19855). In general, both RbcX homologues seem to have the same function which is chaperone activity during Rubisco biogenesis. However, detailed analysis revealed slight differences between them. AtRbcX2 is localized in the stromal fraction of chloroplasts whereas AtRbcX1 was found in the insoluble fraction corresponding with thylakoid membranes. Search for putative "partners" using mass spectrometry analysis suggested that apart from binding to RbcL, AtRbcX1 may also interact with β subunit of chloroplast ATP synthase. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis of AtRbcX1 and AtRbcX2 expression under various stress conditions indicated that AtRbcX2 is transcribed at a relatively stable level, while the transcription level of AtRbcX1 varies significantly. In addition, we present the attempts to elucidate the secondary structure of AtRbcX proteins using CD spectroscopy. Presented results are the first known approach to elucidate the role of RbcX proteins in Rubisco assembly in higher plants.

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