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Protein phosphorylation regulates in vitro spinach chloroplast petD mRNA 3'-untranslated region stability, processing, and degradation

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Martín Vargas-Suárez
  • Alina Castro-Sánchez
  • Gabriela Toledo-Ortiz
  • Luis E. González de la Vara
  • Elpidio García
  • Herminia Loza-Tavera
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>02/2013
Issue number2
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)400-409
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date26/10/12
<mark>Original language</mark>English


RNA-binding proteins (RNPs) participate in diverse processes of mRNA metabolism, and phosphorylation changes their binding properties. In spinach chloroplasts, 24RNP and 28RNP are associated with polynucleotide posphorylase forming a complex on charge of pre-mRNA 3'-end maturation. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the phosphorylation status of 24RNP and 28RNP, present in a spinach chloroplast mRNA 3'-UTR processing extract (CPE), controls the transition between petD precursor stabilization, 3'-UTR processing, and RNA degradation in vitro. The CPE processed or stabilized petD precursor depending on the ATP concentration present in an in vitro 3'-UTR processing (IVP) assay. These effects were also observed when ATP was pre-incubated and removed before the IVP assay. Moreover, a dephosphorylated (DP)-CPE degraded petD precursor and recovered 3'-UTR processing or stabilization activities in an ATP concentration dependent manner. To determine the role 24/28RNP plays in regulating these processes a 24/28RNP-depleted (Δ24/28)CPE was generated. The Δ24/28CPE degraded the petD precursor, but when it was reconstituted with recombinant non-phosphorylated (NP)-24RNP or NP-28RNP, the precursor was stabilized, whereas when Δ24/28CPE was reconstituted with phosphorylated (P)-24RNP or P-28RNP, it recovered 3'-UTR processing, indicating that 24RNP or 28RNP is needed to stabilize the precursor, have a redundant role, and their phosphorylation status regulates the transition between precursor stabilization and 3'-UTR processing. A DP-Δ24/28CPE reconstituted or not with NP-24/28RNP degraded petD precursor. Pre-incubation of DP-Δ24/28CPE with NP-24/28RNP plus 0.03 mM ATP recovered 3'-UTR processing activity, and its reconstitution with P-24/28RNP stabilized the precursor. However, pre-incubation of DP-Δ24/28CPE with 0.03 mM ATP, and further reconstitution with NP-24/28RNP or P-24/28RNP produced precursor stability instead of RNA degradation, and RNA processing instead of precursor stability, respectively. Moreover, in vitro phosphorylation of CPE showed that 24RNP, 28RNP, and other proteins may be phosphorylated. Altogether, these results reveal that phosphorylation of 24RNP, 28RNP, and other unidentified CPE proteins mediates the in vitro interplay between petD precursor stability, 3'-UTR processing, and degradation, and support the idea that protein phosphorylation plays an important role in regulating mRNA metabolism in chloroplast.