Retrograde plastid-to-nucleus signaling plays a central role in coordinating nuclear and plastid gene expression. The gun (genomes uncoupled) mutants of Arabidopsis have been used to demonstrate that Mg-protoporphyrin (Mg-Proto) acts as a plastid signal to repress the transcription of nuclear photosynthesis genes (1). It is unclear how Mg-Proto triggers repression, but several components of this pathway have been recently identified. These include the products of GUN4 and GUN5. GUN5 is the ChlH subunit of Mg-chelatase, which produces Mg-Proto, and GUN4 is a regulator of ChlH activity (2). GUN4 might also play a role in photoprotection and in the trafficking of Mg-Proto.
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