The E3 ligase AtCHIP positively regulates Clp proteolytic subunit homeostasis

Jia Wei, Xiaoyun Qiu, Lin Chen, Wenjun Hu, Rongbin Hu, Jian Chen, Li Sun, Li Li, Hong Zhang, Zhiqiang Lv, Guoxin Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The caseinolytic peptidase (Clp) core proteins are essential for plant growth and development, especially for chloroplast function. Antisense or overexpression of ClpP4, which is one of the Clp core subunits, causes chlorotic phenotypes in Arabidopsis. An E3 ligase gene, AtCHIP, has previously been found to ubiquitylate ClpP4 in vitro. ClpP4 antisense and overexpressing plants that also overexpressed AtCHIP were constructed to explore the effect of AtCHIP on ClpP4. Overexpression of AtCHIP was found to rescue the chlorotic phenotypes of both ClpP4 antisense and overexpressing plants. The unbalanced levels of Clp core proteins in ClpP4 antisense and overexpressing plants with overexpression of AtCHIP were similar to wild-type levels, suggesting that AtCHIP regulates Clp core proteins. The results also show that AtCHIP can interact with ClpP3 and ClpP5 in yeast and ubiquitylate ClpP3 and ClpP5 in vitro. This suggests that AtCHIP is directly related to ClpP3 and ClpP5. Given these results, the inference is that through selective degradation of Clp subunits, AtCHIP could positively regulate homeostasis of Clp proteolytic subunits and maximize the production of functional chloroplasts. Similar results were obtained from transgenic tobacco plants, suggesting that regulation of the Clp protease by AtCHIP is conserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5809-5820
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number19
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • AtCHIP
  • Chloroplast protease
  • Clp proteolytic subunits
  • ClpP3
  • ClpP4
  • ClpP5
  • Protein homeostasis


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