Is chloroplast import of photosynthesis proteins facilitated by an actin-TOC-TIC-VIPP1 complex?
Actin filaments are major components of the cytoskeleton that interact with chloroplast envelope membranes to allow chloroplast positioning and movement, stromule mobility and gravitropism perception. We recently reported that Toc159, a component of the TOC complex of the chloroplast protein import apparatus, interacts directly with actin. The interaction of Toc159 and actin was identified by co-immunoprecipitation and co-sedimentation experiments with detergent-solubilised pea chloroplast envelope membranes. In addition, many of the components of the TOC-TIC protein import apparatus and VIPP1 (vesicle-inducing protein in plastids 1) were identified by mass spectroscopy in the material co-immunoprecipitated with antibodies to actin. Toc159 is the receptor for the import of photosynthesis proteins and VIPP1 is involved in thylakoid membrane formation by inducing vesicle formation from the chloroplast inner envelope membrane, suggesting we may have identified an actin-TOC-TIC-VIPP1 compl