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In a recently published work, we identified the first chloroplast-localized E3 ligase, and showed that it degrades TOC translocon proteins by the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). This regulation was found to be critical for plastid developmental transitions, such as the conversion of etioplasts to chloroplasts. Here we discuss the importance of SP1 for plants under different circumstances, and speculate about SP1 function and its possible application in agriculture. We anticipate that further work in this area may reveal additional roles of the UPS system, through action on other chloroplast OEPs with different roles in plastid biogenesis and function.

Original publication




Journal article


Commun Integr Biol

Publication Date





Arabidopsis thaliana, E3 ligase, SP1, TOC translocon, chloroplast, outer envelope protein (OEP), ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS)