Cell Biology


Protocols in Current Issue
Protocols in Past Issues
0 Q&A 8712 Views Feb 5, 2018
In this protocol, we describe a method to design chimeric proteins for specific targeting to the inner envelope membrane (IEM) of Arabidopsis chloroplasts and the confirmation of their localization by biochemical analysis. Specific targeting to the chloroplast IEM can be achieved by fusing the protein of interest with a transit peptide and an IEM targeting signal. This protocol makes it possible to investigate the localization of chimeric proteins in chloroplasts using a small number of transgenic plants by using a modified method of chloroplast isolation and fractionation. IEM localization of chimeric proteins can be further assessed by trypsin digestion and alkaline extraction. Here, the localization of the chimeric bicarbonate transporter, designated as SbtAII, is detected by Western blotting using antibodies against Staphylococcal protein A. This protocol is adapted from Uehara et al., 2016.
0 Q&A 7153 Views Jun 5, 2017
Assessment of chloroplast movements by measuring changes in leaf transmittance is discussed, with special reference to the conditions necessary for reliable estimation of blue light–activated chloroplast responses.
0 Q&A 13645 Views Feb 20, 2015
The chloroplast is an important organelle found in plant cells that conduct photosynthesis. It is enclosed by a pair of closely spaced membranes, the double-membrane envelope, consisting of the inner membrane bounding the matrix or stroma and the outer membrane in contact with the cytoplasm. Like many bio-membranes, the chloroplast envelope plays an important role in mediating the complex interactions between the chloroplast and the cytoplasm. The envelope is also the site of various biosynthetic reactions, including the formation of the galactolipids, which are the major components of both envelope and the thylakoid membranes. The inner and outer envelope membranes have differences in both structure and function. For example, the outer membrane exhibits lower density of intramembranous particles than the inner membrane dose, suggesting that the protein content of the outer membrane is low. Also, the outer membrane is nonspecifically permeable to low molecular weight compounds, whereas the inner is impermeable to such compounds and contains several translocator systems for the transport of metabolites.

To prepare the envelope membranes, it is necessary to isolate intact chloroplasts first. Then the inner and outer envelope membranes are separated by: 1) the protease-treatment method and 2) the centrifuge method which based on the fact that the outer envelope is lighter and the inner membrane heavier. Both methods need to isolate the intact chloroplasts firstly. However, the centrifugal separation can get the pure inner and outer envelope preparations, which therefore are suitable to the subsequent analyses. Also, the centrifuge method can avoid the destruction of inner envelope polypeptides during the protease treatment, because some of the protease may gain access to the inner membrane. Moreover, the centrifuge method is easy to operate and to get the complete enveloped that contain less of the adhesion regions of the outer and inner envelope membranes. Here we describe a reliable method for isolation of the inner and outer envelope membranes of the chloroplasts from tobacco, which is the plant that relatively not easy to use for envelope isolation.
0 Q&A 19085 Views Sep 20, 2014
This rapid protocol allows the extraction of chloroplast enriched proteins from Nicotiana benthamiana (N. benthamiana) leaves that were transiently transformed to express an epitope tagged protein of interest. Thus, it can serve as a tool to study the chloroplastidic localization of the protein of interest when it is combined with western-blot analysis.

Agrobacterium-mediated transformation (Agroinfiltration, Romeis et al., 2001) is used to transiently express a protein carrying an epitope tag in tobacco leaves. Here, co-infiltration with an Agrobacterium strain harboring 19 K from soil-borne wheat mosaic virus suppresses posttranscriptional gene silencing and therefore increases transformation efficiency (Te et al., 2005).

The chloroplast isolation of the transformed leaves is based with modifications on Romeis et al. (2001), and includes mechanical breakage of cell wall and membranes, the removal of unbroken tissue by filtration and the separation of intact chloroplasts by centrifugation through a Percoll layer.
0 Q&A 10784 Views Sep 5, 2014
Plastoglobules are lipoprotein particles physically attached to thylakoids in chloroplasts (Kessler et al., 1999). They are mainly composed of polar lipid, neutral lipids, and proteins (Vidi et al., 2006). Here we used simple sucrose gradient flotation centrifugation method to purify the plastoglobules from total chloroplast membranes (Vidi et al., 2007, Shanmugabalaji et al., 2013).

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