Beata Kmiec, Elzbieta Glaser and Pedro Teixeira  (Photo: private)


Pedro Teixeira, Beata Kmiec and Elzbieta Glaser publish in Nature Chemical Biology on Recycling protein building blocks


Chloroplasts are organelles responsible for a wide range of metabolic processes in plant cells, including photosynthesis and carbon assimilation. Chloroplast functions are dependent on resident proteins that undergo constant turnover, i.e. biosynthesis and degradation. As a result of protein turnover short peptides are produced inside chloroplasts.

An international team of researchers led by scientists from Department of biochemistry and biophysics, Stockholm University, has used the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana to study the degradation process of peptides generated during biosynthesis of chloroplastic proteins, i.e. targeting peptides, and uncovered an enzymatic cascade that degrades these fragments to single amino acids. This observation showed for the first time that amino acids can be recycling within the plant chloroplasts and be used to support local protein synthesis.

Researchers from Sweden (Stockholm University and Karolinska Institute), Poland (Wroclaw University) and Australia (LaTrobe University and University of Western Australia) were involved in the study.

Link to the article:

See also Stockholm University Press release at