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EMBO J. 1994 May 1;13(9):2227-35.

ADP-dependent phosphorylation regulates RNA-binding in vitro: implications in light-modulated translation.

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Department of Cell Biology, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037.


Light-regulated translation of chloroplastic mRNAs in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii requires nuclear encoded factors that interact with the 5'-untranslated region (5'-UTR) of specific mRNAs to enhance their translation. We have previously identified and characterized a set of proteins that bind specifically to the 5'-UTR of the chloroplastic psbA mRNA. Accumulation of these proteins is similar in dark- and light-grown cells, whereas their binding activity is enhanced during growth in the light. We have identified a serine/threonine protein phosphotransferase, associated with the psbA mRNA-binding complex, that utilizes the beta-phosphate of ADP to phosphorylate and inactivate psbA mRNA-binding in vitro. The inactivation of mRNA-binding in vitro is initiated at high ADP levels, levels that are attained in vivo only in dark-grown chloroplasts. These data suggest that the translation of psbA mRNA is attenuated by phosphorylation of the mRNA-binding protein complex in response to a rise in the stromal concentration of ADP upon transfer of cells to dark.

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