Biotech Updates

New Study Shows OPR Protein Function Important for Photosynthesis

March 12, 2014

A new study conducted by Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich shows that a new class of helical repeat proteins called Octotricopeptide Repeat Proteins (OPRs) has recently been discovered. While OPR proteins form a diverse family in green algae, in most land plants only a single protein of this type is found.

Alexandra-Viola Bohne from Professor Jörg Nickelsen's research group at LMU's Biocenter and her colleagues investigated genetically modified plants that were unable to synthesize the OPR protein RAP. They found that the RAP protein has an important role in translating the genetic information in the chloroplast DNA into specific proteins. RAP turns out to be involved in the maturation of the so-called 16S rRNA, a major component of the "protein factories" in the chloroplast.

Nickelsen said "Loss of RAP leads to a reduction in the level of protein synthesis in the chloroplasts, which in turn results in a decrease in the efficiency of photosynthesis."

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