The translational apparatus of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii chloroplast

Photosynth Res. 2004;82(3):315-25. doi: 10.1007/s11120-004-2440-5.


Genetic and biochemical studies have revealed that chloroplast gene expression in Chlamydomonas is controlled primarily post-transcriptionally, including events that effect mRNA processing and stability, and during the translation of plastid mRNAs into proteins. Many of the proteins required for chloroplast gene expression are encoded in the nuclear genome, and most of these proteins have yet to be identified biochemically. Emergence of the draft sequence of the Chlamydomonas nuclear genome has enabled us to carry out a prediction and comparative analysis of the proteins required for chloroplast mRNA translation. Putative translation factor genes have been identified by homology search, and functional chloroplast ribosomal protein genes have been compiled based on our recent proteomic studies. This bioinformatic and proteomic analysis shows that the translational apparatus of Chlamydomonas is related to that of bacteria, but is more complex. Chlamydomonas chloroplasts contain all of the general translation factors found in bacteria, and a majority of the ribosomal proteins are conserved between plastids and bacteria. However, Chlamydomonas contains a number of additional proteins and protein domains associated with the plastid ribosome, while some ribosomal proteins are either quite divergent or lacking. In addition, Chlamydomonas chloroplasts contain a number of mRNA specific translation factors that are not found in bacteria.