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Plastids are a dynamic class of organelle in plant cells that arose from an ancient cyanobacterial endosymbiont. Over the course of evolution, most genes encoding plastid proteins were transferred to the nuclear genome. In parallel, eukaryotic cells evolved a series of targeting pathways and complex proteinaceous machinery at the plastid surface to direct these proteins back to their target organelle. Chloroplasts are the most well-characterized plastids, responsible for photosynthesis and other important metabolic functions. The biogenesis and function of chloroplasts rely heavily on the fidelity of intracellular protein trafficking pathways. Therefore, understanding these pathways and their regulation is essential. Furthermore, the chloroplast outer membrane proteome remains relatively uncharted territory in our understanding of protein targeting. Many key players in the cytosol, receptors at the organelle surface, and insertases that facilitate insertion into the chloroplast outer membrane remain elusive for this group of proteins. In this review, we summarize recent advances in the understanding of well-characterized chloroplast outer membrane protein targeting pathways as well as provide new insights into novel targeting signals and pathways more recently identified using a bioinformatic approach. As a result of our analyses, we expand the known number of chloroplast outer membrane proteins from 117 to 138.


Michael Fish, Delaney Nash, Alexandru German, Alyssa Overton, Masoud Jelokhani-Niaraki, Simon D X Chuong, Matthew D Smith. New Insights into the Chloroplast Outer Membrane Proteome and Associated Targeting Pathways. International journal of molecular sciences. 2022 Jan 29;23(3)

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PMID: 35163495

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