Cutting edge of chloroplast proteolysis

Trends Plant Sci. 2002 Oct;7(10):451-6. doi: 10.1016/s1360-1385(02)02326-9.


Chloroplasts have a dynamic protein environment and, although proteases are presumably major contributors, the identities of these crucial regulatory proteins have only recently been revealed. There are defined proteases within each of the major chloroplast compartments: the ATP-dependent Clp and FtsH proteases in the stroma and stroma-exposed thylakoid membranes, respectively, the ATP-independent DegP proteases within the thylakoid lumen and on both sides of thylakoid membranes, and the SppA protease on the stromal side of the thylakoid. All four types are homologous to proteases characterized in bacteria, but most have many isomers in higher plants. With such diversity, the challenge is to link the mode of action of each protease to the chloroplast enzymes and regulatory proteins that it targets.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Dependent Proteases
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / metabolism
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis Proteins*
  • Chloroplasts / enzymology
  • Chloroplasts / metabolism*
  • Endopeptidases / metabolism*
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Serine Endopeptidases / metabolism
  • Thylakoids / enzymology
  • Thylakoids / metabolism


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Plant Proteins
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Endopeptidases
  • ATP-Dependent Proteases
  • DegP2 protein, Arabidopsis
  • SPPA protein, Arabidopsis
  • Serine Endopeptidases
  • VAR2 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases