Targeting Nuclear Gene Products into Chloroplasts

  • Les J. Szabo
  • Anthony R. Cashmore
Part of the Plant Gene Research book series (GENE)


Plant cells contain several distinct subcellular compartments or organelles that perform specialized functions within the cell. Two of these organelles, chloroplasts and mitochondria, exist in a semi-autonomous state within the cell containing their own genetic system and protein synthesis machinery. However, the majority of chloroplast and mitochondrial proteins are nuclear encoded, synthesized on free cytosolic ribosomes and then imported into their respective organelles. Many of these proteins are synthesized as higher molecular weight precursors that are processed to their mature forms either during or shortly after import. The proper targeting and import of these polypeptides depends on a transit peptide located at the amino-terminus of the precursor (for recent reviews see Ellis, 1981; Cashmore et al., 1985; Schmidt and Mishkind, 1986; Hay et al., 1984 and Hurt and van Loon, 1986).


Small Subunit Transit Peptide Chloroplast Membrane Chloroplast Protein Envelope Membrane 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Les J. Szabo
    • 1
  • Anthony R. Cashmore
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Cell BiologyRockefeller UniversityNew YorkUSA

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