• Plastid gene expression and plant development require a plastidic protein of the mitochondrial transcription termination factor family.

      Babiychuk, Elena; Vandepoele, Klaas; Wissing, Josef; Garcia-Diaz, Miguel; De Rycke, Riet; Akbari, Hana; Joubès, Jérôme; Beeckman, Tom; Jänsch, Lothar; Frentzen, Margrit; Van Montagu, Marc C E; Kushnir, Sergei; Department of Plant Systems Biology, VIB, 9052 Ghent, Belgium. (2011-04-19)
      Plastids are DNA-containing organelles unique to plant cells. In Arabidopsis, one-third of the genes required for embryo development encode plastid-localized proteins. To help understand the role of plastids in embryogenesis and postembryonic development, we characterized proteins of the mitochondrial transcription termination factor (mTERF) family, which in animal models, comprises DNA-binding regulators of mitochondrial transcription. Of 35 Arabidopsis mTERF proteins, 11 are plastid-localized. Genetic complementation shows that at least one plastidic mTERF, BELAYA SMERT' (BSM), is required for embryogenesis. The main postembryonic phenotypes of genetic mosaics with the bsm mutation are severe abnormalities in leaf development. Mutant bsm cells are albino, are compromised in growth, and suffer defects in global plastidic gene expression. The bsm phenotype could be phenocopied by inhibition of plastid translation with spectinomycin. Plastid translation is essential for cell viability in dicotyledonous species such as tobacco but not in monocotyledonous maize. Here, genetic interactions between BSM and the gene encoding plastid homomeric acetyl-CoA carboxylase ACC2 suggest that there is a functional redundancy in malonyl-CoA biosynthesis that permits bsm cell survival in Arabidopsis. Overall, our results indicate that biosynthesis of malonyl-CoA and plastid-derived systemic growth-promoting compounds are the processes that link plant development and plastid gene expression.
    • A structural investigation of complex I and I+III2 supercomplex from Zea mays at 11-13 A resolution: assignment of the carbonic anhydrase domain and evidence for structural heterogeneity within complex I.

      Peters, Katrin; Dudkina, Natalya V; Jänsch, Lothar; Braun, Hans-Peter; Boekema, Egbert J; Institute for Plant Genetics, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Herrenhäuser Str. 2, D-30419 Hannover, Germany. (2008-01)
      The projection structures of complex I and the I+III2 supercomplex from the C4 plant Zea mays were determined by electron microscopy and single particle image analysis to a resolution of up to 11 A. Maize complex I has a typical L-shape. Additionally, it has a large hydrophilic extra-domain attached to the centre of the membrane arm on its matrix-exposed side, which previously was described for Arabidopsis and which was reported to include carbonic anhydrase subunits. A comparison with the X-ray structure of homotrimeric gamma-carbonic anhydrase from the archaebacterium Methanosarcina thermophila indicates that this domain is also composed of a trimer. Mass spectrometry analyses allowed to identify two different carbonic anhydrase isoforms, suggesting that the gamma-carbonic anhydrase domain of maize complex I most likely is a heterotrimer. Statistical analysis indicates that the maize complex I structure is heterogeneous: a less-abundant "type II" particle has a 15 A shorter membrane arm and an additional small protrusion on the intermembrane-side of the membrane arm if compared to the more abundant "type I" particle. The I+III2 supercomplex was found to be a rigid structure which did not break down into subcomplexes at the interface between the hydrophilic and the hydrophobic arms of complex I. The complex I moiety of the supercomplex appears to be only of "type I". This would mean that the "type II" particles are not involved in the supercomplex formation and, hence, could have a different physiological role.