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The vast majority of the approximately 3000 different proteins required to build a fully functional chloroplast are encoded by the nuclear genome and translated on cytosolic ribosomes. As chloroplasts are each surrounded by a double-membrane system, or envelope, sophisticated mechanisms are necessary to mediate the import of these nucleus-encoded proteins into chloroplasts. Once inside the organelle, many chloroplast proteins engage one of four additional protein sorting mechanisms that direct targeting to the internal thylakoid membrane system.

Original publication




Journal article


Curr Biol

Publication Date





R1064 - R1077


Cell Nucleus, Chloroplasts, Intracellular Membranes, Membrane Proteins, Models, Biological, Photosynthetic Reaction Center Complex Proteins, Protein Processing, Post-Translational, Protein Sorting Signals, Protein Transport