PRBP plays a role in plastid ribosomal RNA maturation and chloroplast biogenesis in Nicotiana benthamiana

Yong Joon Park, Hui Kyung Cho, Hyun Ju Jung, Chang Sook Ahn, Hunseung Kang, Hyun Sook Pai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In the present study, we investigated protein characteristics and physiological functions of PRBP (plastid RNA-binding protein) in Nicotiana benthamiana. PRBP fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP) localized to the chloroplasts. Recombinant PRBP proteins bind to single-stranded RNA in vitro, but not to DNA in a double- or a single-stranded form. Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) of PRBP resulted in leaf yellowing in N. benthamiana. At the cellular level, PRBP depletion disrupted chloroplast biogenesis: chloroplast number and size were reduced, and the thylakoid membrane was poorly developed. In PRBP-silenced leaves, protein levels of plastid-encoded genes were significantly reduced, whereas their mRNA levels were normal regardless of their promoter types indicating that PRBP deficiency primarily affects translational or post-translational processes. Depletion of PRBP impaired processing of the plastid-encoded 4.5S ribosomal RNA, resulting in accumulation of the larger precursor rRNAs in the chloroplasts. In addition, PRBP-deficient chloroplasts contained significantly reduced levels of mature 4.5S and 5S rRNAs in the polysomal fractions, indicating decreased chloroplast translation. These results suggest that PRBP plays a role in chloroplast rRNA processing and chloroplast development in higher plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1073-1085
Number of pages13
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This research was supported by Mid-career Researcher Program (No. 20100026168 and No. 20100000314) and Plant Signaling Network Research Center (No. 2010-0001462), both of which are funded by National Research Foundation of Korea.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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