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The functionality of all metabolic processes in chloroplasts depends on a balanced integration of nuclear- and chloroplast-encoded polypeptides into the plastid's proteome. The chloroplast chaperonin machinery is an essential player in chloroplast protein folding under ambient and stressful conditions, with a more intricate structure and subunit composition compared to the orthologous GroEL/ES chaperonin of Escherichia coli. However, its exact role in chloroplasts remains obscure, mainly because of very limited knowledge about the interactors. We employed the competition immunoprecipitation method for the identification of the chaperonin's interactors in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Co-immunoprecipitation of the target complex in the presence of increasing amounts of isotope-labelled competitor epitope and subsequent mass spectrometry analysis specifically allowed to distinguish true interactors from unspecifically co-precipitated proteins. Besides known substrates such as RbcL and the expected complex partners, we revealed numerous new interactors with high confidence. Proteins that qualify as putative substrate proteins differ from bulk chloroplast proteins by a higher content of beta-sheets, lower alpha-helical conformation and increased aggregation propensity. Immunoprecipitations targeted against a subunit of the co-chaperonin lid revealed the ClpP protease as a specific partner complex, pointing to a close collaboration of these machineries to maintain protein homeostasis in the chloroplast. © 2023 The Authors. Plant, Cell & Environment published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Fabian Ries, Heinrich Lukas Weil, Claudia Herkt, Timo Mühlhaus, Frederik Sommer, Michael Schroda, Felix Willmund. Competition co-immunoprecipitation reveals the interactors of the chloroplast CPN60 chaperonin machinery. Plant, cell & environment. 2023 Nov;46(11):3371-3391

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PMID: 37606545

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