Karim S, Alezzawi M, Garcia-Petit C, Solymosi K, Khan NZ, Lindquist E, Dahl P, Hohmann S, Aronsson H.
A novel Rab GTPase protein in Arabidopsis thaliana, CPRabA5e (CP = chloroplast localized) is located in chloroplasts and has a role in transport. Transient expression of CPRabA5e:EGFP fusion protein in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) leaves, and immunoblotting using Arabidopsis showed localization of CPRabA5e in chloroplasts (stroma and thylakoids). Ypt31/32 in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae are involved in regulating vesicle transport, and CPRabA5e a close homolog of Ypt31/32, restores the growth of the ypt31Δ ypt32(ts) mutant at 37 °C in yeast complementation. Knockout mutants of CPRabA5e displayed delayed seed germination and growth arrest during oxidative stress. Ultrastructural studies revealed that after preincubation at 4 °C mutant chloroplasts contained larger plastoglobules, lower grana, and more vesicles close to the envelopes compared to wild type, and vesicle formation being enhanced under oxidative stress. This indicated altered thylakoid development and organization of the mutants. A yeast-two-hybrid screen with CPRabA5e as bait revealed 13 interacting partner proteins, mainly located in thylakoids and plastoglobules. These proteins are known or predicted to be involved in development, stress responses, and photosynthesis related processes, consistent with the stress phenotypes observed. The results observed suggest a role of CPRabA5e in transport to and from thylakoids, similar to cytosolic Rab proteins involved in vesicle transport.