Publications by authors named "Michele Rahire"

7 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Coexpressed subunits of dual genetic origin define a conserved supercomplex mediating essential protein import into chloroplasts.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 12 3;117(51):32739-32749. Epub 2020 Dec 3.

Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143;

In photosynthetic eukaryotes, thousands of proteins are translated in the cytosol and imported into the chloroplast through the concerted action of two translocons-termed TOC and TIC-located in the outer and inner membranes of the chloroplast envelope, respectively. The degree to which the molecular composition of the TOC and TIC complexes is conserved over phylogenetic distances has remained controversial. Here, we combine transcriptomic, biochemical, and genetic tools in the green alga Chlamydomonas () to demonstrate that, despite a lack of evident sequence conservation for some of its components, the algal TIC complex mirrors the molecular composition of a TIC complex from The Chlamydomonas TIC complex contains three nuclear-encoded subunits, Tic20, Tic56, and Tic100, and one chloroplast-encoded subunit, Tic214, and interacts with the TOC complex, as well as with several uncharacterized proteins to form a stable supercomplex (TIC-TOC), indicating that protein import across both envelope membranes is mechanistically coupled. Expression of the nuclear and chloroplast genes encoding both known and uncharacterized TIC-TOC components is highly coordinated, suggesting that a mechanism for regulating its biogenesis across compartmental boundaries must exist. Conditional repression of Tic214, the only chloroplast-encoded subunit in the TIC-TOC complex, impairs the import of chloroplast proteins with essential roles in chloroplast ribosome biogenesis and protein folding and induces a pleiotropic stress response, including several proteins involved in the chloroplast unfolded protein response. These findings underscore the functional importance of the TIC-TOC supercomplex in maintaining chloroplast proteostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2014294117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7768757PMC
December 2020

Chloroplast Biogenesis Controlled by DELLA-TOC159 Interaction in Early Plant Development.

Curr Biol 2018 08 2;28(16):2616-2623.e5. Epub 2018 Aug 2.

Laboratory of Plant Physiology, University of Neuchâtel, 2000 Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Chloroplast biogenesis, visible as greening, is the key to photoautotrophic growth in plants. At the organelle level, it requires the development of non-photosynthetic, color-less proplastids to photosynthetically active, green chloroplasts at early stages of plant development, i.e., in germinating seeds. This depends on the import of thousands of different preproteins into the developing organelle by the chloroplast protein import machinery [1]. The preprotein import receptor TOC159 is essential in the process, its mutation blocking chloroplast biogenesis and resulting in albino plants [2]. The molecular mechanisms controlling the onset of chloroplast biogenesis during germination are largely unknown. Germination depends on the plant hormone gibberellic acid (GA) and is repressed by DELLA when GA concentrations are low [3, 4]. Here, we show that DELLA negatively regulates TOC159 protein abundance under low GA. The direct DELLA-TOC159 interaction promotes TOC159 degradation by the ubiquitin/proteasome system (UPS). Moreover, the accumulation of photosynthesis-associated proteins destined for the chloroplast is downregulated posttranscriptionally. Analysis of a model import substrate indicates that it is targeted for removal by the UPS prior to import. Thus, under low GA, the UPS represses chloroplast biogenesis by a dual mechanism comprising the DELLA-dependent destruction of the import receptor TOC159, as well as that of its protein cargo. In conclusion, our data provide a molecular framework for the GA hormonal control of proplastid to chloroplast transition during early plant development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.06.006DOI Listing
August 2018

Conditional Depletion of the Chlamydomonas Chloroplast ClpP Protease Activates Nuclear Genes Involved in Autophagy and Plastid Protein Quality Control.

Plant Cell 2014 May 30;26(5):2201-2222. Epub 2014 May 30.

Departments of Molecular Biology and Plant Biology, University of Geneva, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland

Plastid protein homeostasis is critical during chloroplast biogenesis and responses to changes in environmental conditions. Proteases and molecular chaperones involved in plastid protein quality control are encoded by the nucleus except for the catalytic subunit of ClpP, an evolutionarily conserved serine protease. Unlike its Escherichia coli ortholog, this chloroplast protease is essential for cell viability. To study its function, we used a recently developed system of repressible chloroplast gene expression in the alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Using this repressible system, we have shown that a selective gradual depletion of ClpP leads to alteration of chloroplast morphology, causes formation of vesicles, and induces extensive cytoplasmic vacuolization that is reminiscent of autophagy. Analysis of the transcriptome and proteome during ClpP depletion revealed a set of proteins that are more abundant at the protein level, but not at the RNA level. These proteins may comprise some of the ClpP substrates. Moreover, the specific increase in accumulation, both at the RNA and protein level, of small heat shock proteins, chaperones, proteases, and proteins involved in thylakoid maintenance upon perturbation of plastid protein homeostasis suggests the existence of a chloroplast-to-nucleus signaling pathway involved in organelle quality control. We suggest that this represents a chloroplast unfolded protein response that is conceptually similar to that observed in the endoplasmic reticulum and in mitochondria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1105/tpc.114.124842DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4079378PMC
May 2014

Repression of essential chloroplast genes reveals new signaling pathways and regulatory feedback loops in chlamydomonas.

Plant Cell 2013 Jan 4;25(1):167-86. Epub 2013 Jan 4.

Department of Molecular Biology and Plant Biology, University of Geneva, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland.

Although reverse genetics has been used to elucidate the function of numerous chloroplast proteins, the characterization of essential plastid genes and their role in chloroplast biogenesis and cell survival has not yet been achieved. Therefore, we developed a robust repressible chloroplast gene expression system in the unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii based mainly on a vitamin-repressible riboswitch, and we used this system to study the role of two essential chloroplast genes: ribosomal protein S12 (rps12), encoding a plastid ribosomal protein, and rpoA, encoding the α-subunit of chloroplast bacterial-like RNA polymerase. Repression of either of these two genes leads to the arrest of cell growth, and it induces a response that involves changes in expression of nuclear genes implicated in chloroplast biogenesis, protein turnover, and stress. This response also leads to the overaccumulation of several plastid transcripts and reveals the existence of multiple negative regulatory feedback loops in the chloroplast gene circuitry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1105/tpc.112.103051DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3584532PMC
January 2013

Identification of an OPR protein involved in the translation initiation of the PsaB subunit of photosystem I.

Plant J 2012 Nov 13;72(4):652-61. Epub 2012 Sep 13.

Departments of Molecular Biology and Plant Biology, University of Geneva, 30, Quai Ernest Ansermet, Geneva 1211, Switzerland.

Genetic analysis of mutants deficient in the biosynthesis of the photosystem I complex has revealed several nucleus-encoded factors that act at different post-transcriptional steps of chloroplast gene expression. Here we have identified and characterized the gene affected in the tab 1-F15 mutant, which is specifically deficient in the translation of the photosystem I reaction center protein PsaB as the result of a single nucleotide deletion. This gene encodes Tab 1, a 1287 amino acid protein that contains 10 tandem 38-40 amino acid degenerate repeats of the PPPEW/OPR (octatricopeptide repeat) family, first described for the chloroplast translation factor Tbc2. These repeats are involved in the binding of Tab 1 to the 5'-untranslated region of the psaB mRNA based on gel mobility shift assays. Tab 1 is part of a large family of proteins in Chlamydomonas that are also found in several bacteria and protozoans, but are rare in land plants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-313X.2012.05111.xDOI Listing
November 2012

Redundant cis-acting determinants of 3' processing and RNA stability in the chloroplast rbcL mRNA of Chlamydomonas.

Plant J 2008 Feb 7;53(3):566-77. Epub 2007 Nov 7.

Departments of Molecular Biology and of Plant Biology, University of Geneva, 30 quai E. Ansermet, CH-1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.

We have designed a screen for mutants affected in 3' maturation of the chloroplast rbcL mRNA in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. We inserted a spectinomycin resistance cassette, 5'atpA::aadA::3'rbcL, in a peripheral domain of tscA, the gene for a small non-coding RNA involved in trans-splicing of psaA. Depending on the orientation of the cassette, a polar effect was observed which was due to processing at the 3'rbcL element: the chimeric tscA RNA was truncated and splicing of psaA was blocked. We selected phenotypic revertants of this insertion mutant that restored psaA splicing, which correlated with the presence of chimeric transcripts that regained the 3' part of tscA. We analyzed two nuclear and six chloroplast suppressors. Five chloroplast mutations altered a short element in the center of the second inverted repeat in the 3'rbcL (IR2), and one deleted a larger region including this element. These mutations revealed a cis-acting element in IR2 which is required for 3' processing. When the same mutations were inserted in the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of the native rbcL gene, the rbcL mRNA accumulated to normal levels, but in strong alleles its 3' end was located upstream, near the end of the first inverted repeat (IR1). Deletion of either IR1 or IR2 allowed stable accumulation of rbcL mRNA, but deletion of both resulted in its complete absence. This indicated that the two inverted repeats function as redundant mRNA stability determinants in the 3' UTR of rbcL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-313X.2007.03365.xDOI Listing
February 2008

A novel multifunctional factor involved in trans-splicing of chloroplast introns in Chlamydomonas.

Nucleic Acids Res 2006 10;34(1):262-74. Epub 2006 Jan 10.

Department of Molecular Biology, University of Geneva, 30 quai E. Ansermet, CH-1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.

In the chloroplast of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, psaA mRNA is spliced in trans from three separate precursors which assemble to form two group II introns. A fourth transcript, tscA, completes the structure of the first intron. Of the fourteen nucleus-encoded factors involved in psaA splicing, only two are required for splicing of both introns. We cloned and characterized the first of these more general factors, Raa1. Consistently with its role in psaA splicing, Raa1 is imported in the chloroplast where it is found in a membrane fraction and is part of a large ribonucleoprotein complex. One mutant, raa1-L137H, is defective for splicing of both introns, but another allelic mutant, raa1-314B, still expresses the 3' part of the Raa1 gene and is deficient only in splicing of intron 2. This observation and a deletion analysis indicate the presence of two domains in Raa1. The C-terminal domain is necessary and sufficient for processing of tscA RNA and splicing of the first intron, while the central domain is essential for splicing of the second intron. The combination of these two functional domains in Raa1 suggests that this new factor may coordinate trans-splicing of the two introns to improve the efficiency of psaA maturation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkj429DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1326246PMC
January 2006