Ubiquitin-based pathway acts inside chloroplasts to regulate photosynthesis
Sun Y., Yao Z., Ye Y., Fang J., Chen H., Lyu Y., Broad W., FOURNIER M., Chen G., Hu Y., MOHAMMED S., LING Q., JARVIS R.
Photosynthesis is the energetic basis for most life on Earth, and in plants it operates inside doublemembrane- bound organelles called chloroplasts. The photosynthetic apparatus comprises numerous proteins encoded by the nuclear and organellar genomes. Maintenance of this apparatus requires the action of internal chloroplast proteases, but a role for the nucleocytosolic ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) was not expected owing to the barrier presented by the double-membrane envelope. Here, we show that photosynthesis proteins (including those encoded internally by chloroplast genes) are ubiquitinated, and processed via the CHLORAD pathway: they are degraded by the 26S proteasome following CDC48- dependent retrotranslocation to the cytosol. This demonstrates that the reach of the UPS extends to the interior of endosymbiotically-derived chloroplasts, where it acts to regulate photosynthesis, arguably the most fundamental process of life.