Characterisation of an Arabidopsis thaliana cDNA encoding a novel thylakoid lumen protein imported by the ΔpH-dependent pathway
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An Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. cDNA encoding a novel 16-kDa protein (P16) of the chloroplast thylakoid lumen has been characterised. The function of the protein is unknown but it shares some sequence similarity with alpha allophycocyanins. P16 is synthesised with a bipartite, lumen-targeting presequence, and import experiments demonstrated that this protein follows the ΔpH-dependent pathway. Analysis of the thylakoid transfer peptide revealed two unusual features. Firstly, the key targeting determinant is predicted to be a twin-arginine followed by a highly hydrophobic residue two residues later, rather than at the third position as in most transfer peptides. Secondly, the C-terminal domain of the transfer peptide contains multiple charged residues which may help to prevent mistargeting by the Sec-type protein translocase.
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