Arabidopsis contains four Lon protease-like proteins (AtLon1-AtLon4), predicted to be localized in different cellular organelles, including mitochondria, peroxisomes and plastids. A notable question is whether Lon is present in chloroplasts, since it is absent from cyanobacteria and thus appears to have been lost during the evolution of photosynthetic organisms. Based on in vivo transient assays, we found that AtLon4 is dually targeted to both mitochondria and chloroplasts. Furthermore, immunoblot analysis localized AtLon4 to the thylakoids. Thus, in spite of its absence from basal photosynthetic organisms, our results suggest the presence of Lon in plant plastids.
- AAA family
- ATP-dependent protease