Document Type


Publication Date



A number of molecules have recently been described that effect the correct transport and assembly of cytoplasmically synthesized proteins to cellular membranes. To identify proteins that bind or modify other proteins during the process of membrane translocation, we developed a yeast selection scheme that employs the yeast transcriptional activator GAL4. This selection facilitates the isolation of cDNAs that encode proteases and binding proteins for known target peptide sequences. We report the isolation of an Arabidopsis cDNA encoding a polypeptide that can interact with the amino terminus of a light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b-binding protein (LHCP), a cytoplasmically synthesized protein that is integral to the chloroplast thylakoid membrane. The cDNA was selected in yeast from an Arabidopsis expression library for its ability to inhibit a transcriptional activator GAL4-LHCP fusion protein, but not inhibit native GAL4 protein. The LHCP aminoterminal sequences included in the fusion protein are known to regulate LHCP biogenesis and function. The Arabidopsis cDNA encodes a 595-amino acid protein with at least two functional domains, one with similarity to the family of proteinserine/threonine kinases and another that contains an epidermal growth factor repeat. The identification of an EGF repeat in Arabidopsis indicates that the motif is conserved between the plant and animal kingdoms. Hybridization studies indicate that this gene is likely to be present in other genera of plants. Its mRNA is detected in green leaves but not in other plant tissues or in etiolated plants. The specificity in yeast and the expression pattern in plants together are suggestive of a role for this protein kinase in the assembly or regulation of LHCP.