Chloroplasts are semi-autonomous organelles, with more than 95% of their proteins encoded by the nuclear genome. The chloroplast-to-nucleus retrograde signals are critical for the nucleus to coordinate its gene expression for optimizing or repairing chloroplast functions in response to changing environments. In chloroplasts, the pentatricopeptide-repeat protein GENOMES UNCOUPLED 1 (GUN1) is a master switch that senses aberrant physiological states, such as the photooxidative stress induced by norflurazon (NF) treatment, and represses the expression of photosynthesis-associated nuclear genes (PhANGs). However, it is largely unknown how the retrograde signal is transmitted beyond GUN1. In this study, a protein GUN1-INTERACTING PROTEIN 1 (GIP1), encoded by At3g53630, was identified to interact with GUN1 by different approaches. We demonstrated that GIP1 has both cytosol and chloroplast localizations, and its abundance in chloroplasts is enhanced by NF treatment with the presence of GUN1. Our results suggest that GIP1 and GUN1 may function antagonistically in the retrograde signaling pathway.
Keywords: Chloroplast; GIP1; GUN1; GUN1-INTERACTING PROTEIN 1; Retrograde signal.