A polyglycine stretch is necessary for proper targeting of the protein translocation channel precursor to the outer envelope membrane of chloroplasts

Plant J. 2003 Jun;34(5):661-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-313x.2003.01755.x.


Toc75 is a protein translocation channel in the outer envelope membrane of chloroplasts and its presence is essential for the biogenesis of the organelles. Toc75 is the only protein identified so far in the outer membrane of chloroplasts or mitochondria that is synthesized as a larger precursor, preToc75, with a bipartite transit peptide. Its N-terminus targets the protein to the stroma and is removed by the stromal processing peptidase, whereas its C-terminus mediates envelope targeting and is removed by a yet unknown peptidase. Several conserved domains have been identified in the C-terminal portion of the preToc75 transit peptide from six plant species. We evaluated their importance in the biogenesis of Toc75 by means of deletion or site-directed mutagenesis, followed by import experiments using isolated chlroplasts. Among the conserved domains, a polyglycine stretch was found to be necessary for envelope targeting. Substitution of this domain with other stretches of a single amino acid such as alanine caused mistargeting of the protein into the stroma, indicating an important role for this domain. Furthermore, a glutamate at +2 and two alanine residues at -3 and -1 to the second cleavage site were found to be important for processing. A potential mechanism for the biogenesis of Toc75 is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Chloroplasts / metabolism*
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • Intracellular Membranes / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Peptides / genetics
  • Peptides / metabolism*
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plants
  • Protein Precursors / chemistry*
  • Protein Precursors / genetics
  • Protein Precursors / metabolism*
  • Protein Sorting Signals / physiology*
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Protein Transport


  • Membrane Proteins
  • OEP75 protein precursor, plant
  • Peptides
  • Plant Proteins
  • Protein Precursors
  • Protein Sorting Signals
  • polyglycine