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Stengel, Anna; Soil, Juergen and Bölter, Bettina (2007): Protein import into chloroplasts: new aspects of a well-known topic. In: Biological Chemistry, Vol. 388, No. 8: pp. 765-772 [PDF, 215kB]


Protein import into plant chloroplasts is a fascinating topic that is being investigated by many research groups. Since the majority of chloroplast proteins are synthesised as precursor proteins in the cytosol, they have to be posttranslationally imported into the organelle. For this purpose, most preproteins are synthesised with an N-terminal presequence, which is both necessary and sufficient for organelle recognition and translocation initiation. The import of preproteins is facilitated by two translocation machineries in the outer and inner envelope of chloroplasts, the Toc and Tic complexes, respectively. Translocation of precursor proteins across the envelope membrane has to be highly regulated to react to the metabolic requirements of the organelle. The aim of this review is to summarise the events that take place at the translocation machineries that are known so far. In addition, we focus in particular on alternative import pathways and the aspect of regulation of protein transport at the outer and inner envelope membrane.

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