VIPP1 rods engulf membranes containing phosphatidylinositol phosphates

Sci Rep. 2019 Jun 19;9(1):8725. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-44259-3.


In cyanobacteria and plants, VIPP1 plays crucial roles in the biogenesis and repair of thylakoid membrane protein complexes and in coping with chloroplast membrane stress. In chloroplasts, VIPP1 localizes in distinct patterns at or close to envelope and thylakoid membranes. In vitro, VIPP1 forms higher-order oligomers of >1 MDa that organize into rings and rods. However, it remains unknown how VIPP1 oligomerization is related to function. Using time-resolved fluorescence anisotropy and sucrose density gradient centrifugation, we show here that Chlamydomonas reinhardtii VIPP1 binds strongly to liposomal membranes containing phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate (PI4P). Cryo-electron tomography reveals that VIPP1 oligomerizes into rods that can engulf liposomal membranes containing PI4P. These findings place VIPP1 into a group of membrane-shaping proteins including epsin and BAR domain proteins. Moreover, they point to a potential role of phosphatidylinositols in directing the shaping of chloroplast membranes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii / chemistry*
  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Membranes, Artificial*
  • Phosphatidylinositol Phosphates / chemistry*
  • Phosphatidylinositol Phosphates / metabolism
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Protein Multimerization*


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Phosphatidylinositol Phosphates
  • Plant Proteins