Scientific article

Identification of cis-Acting RNA Leader Elements Required for Chloroplast psbD Gene Expression in Chlamydomonas

Published inPlant Cell, vol. 11, no. 5, p. 957-970
Publication date1999

The psbD mRNA of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is one of the most abundant chloroplast transcripts and encodes the photosystem II reaction center polypeptide D2. This RNA exists in two forms with 5′ untranslated regions of 74 and 47 nucleotides. The shorter form, which is associated with polysomes, is likely to result from processing of the larger RNA. Using site-directed mutagenesis and biolistic transformation, we have identified two major RNA stability determinants within the first 12 nucleotides at the 5′ end and near position −30 relative to the AUG initiation codon of psbD. Insertion of a polyguanosine tract at position −60 did not appreciably interfere with translation of psbD mRNA. The same poly(G) insertion in the nac2-26 mutant, which is known to be deficient in psbD mRNA accumulation, stabilized the psbD RNA. However, the shorter psbD RNA did not accumulate, and the other psbD RNAs were not translated. Two other elements were found to affect translation but not RNA stability. The first comprises a highly U-rich sequence (positions −20 to −15), and the second, called PRB1 (positions −14 to −11), is complementary to the 3′ end of the 16S rRNA. Changing the PRB1 sequence from GGAG to AAAG had no detectable effect on psbD mRNA translation. However, changing this sequence to CCUC led to a fourfold diminished rate of D2 synthesis and accumulation. When the psbD initiation codon was changed to AUA or AUU, D2 synthesis was no longer detected, and psbD RNA accumulated to wild-type levels. The singular organization of the psbD 5′ untranslated region could play an important role in the control of initiation of psbD mRNA translation.

Citation (ISO format)
NICKELSEN, Jorg Rolf et al. Identification of <i>cis</i>-Acting RNA Leader Elements Required for Chloroplast <i>psbD</i> Gene Expression in Chlamydomonas. In: Plant Cell, 1999, vol. 11, n° 5, p. 957–970. doi: 10.1105/tpc.11.5.957
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1040-4651

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