CE20 - Biologie des animaux, des organismes photosynthétiques et des microorganismes

Molecular and structural determinants of mTERF9 activity and implications for its function in chloroplast ribosomal assembly and translation – TERFING

Submission summary

Chloroplasts (cp) are a defining feature of plant cells, carrying out the fundamental reaction of photosynthesis and metabolic functions essential for plant productivity, fertility and stress adaptation. Cp genomes in land plants retain ~100 genes whose expression is primarily controlled by imported nuclear-encoded nucleic acid binding proteins. Recently, members of the mTERF protein-family in plants have emerged as key regulators of organellar genes and plant abiotic stress responses. Our results have demonstrated an unexpected dual protein- and RNA-scaffolding function for mTERF9, a previously uncharacterized member of the mTERF family in Arabidopsis. mTERF9 plays an important role in stimulating ribosomal assembly and translation in cps where it forms in vivo puncta and, unlike most mTERF family proteins, mTERF9 contains a phosphorylated N-terminal intrinsically disordered region (IDR). Based on preliminary unpublished data, the N-terminal IDR and its phosphorylation are required for mTERF9 in vivo function, however the molecular mechanisms for this are unknown. The proposed project will directly address the underlying molecular determinants of mTERF9 function, identify its core protein and RNA binding partners and determine the role of the IDR and phosphorylation state in mTERF9 activity and puncta formation during cp ribosomal assembly and translation. To address these ambitious goals, we will use an interdisciplinary approach combining plant molecular genetics, proteomics, ribonomics and cell biology (P1) coupled with cutting edge biophysics and structural biology including small angle X-ray scattering and electron microscopy (P2). These experiments will demonstrate how mTERF9 is able to fulfill multiple roles in cp ribosomal assembly, stability and translation, major outstanding questions in the plant biology field.

Project coordination

Kamel HAMMANI (Institut de biologie moléculaire des plantes (UPR 2357))

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


IBMP Institut de biologie moléculaire des plantes (UPR 2357)

Help of the ANR 617,443 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: January 2024 - 48 Months

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