Evolution and Design Principles of the Diverse Chloroplast Transit Peptides
Dong Wook Lee1, and Inhwan Hwang1,2,*
1Division of Integrative Biosciences and Biotechnology, 2Department of Life Sciences, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang 37673, Korea
*Correspondence: ihhwang@postech.ac.kr 
Received January 19, 2018; Accepted February 6, 2018.; Published online February 28, 2018.
© Korean Society for Molecular and Cellular Biology. All rights reserved.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/).
Chloroplasts are present in organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae. These organelles are thought to have originated from photosynthetic cyanobacteria through endosymbiosis. During endosymbiosis, most cyanobacterial genes were transferred to the host nucleus. Therefore, most chloroplast proteins became encoded in the nuclear genome and must return to the chloroplast after translation. The N-terminal cleavable transit peptide (TP) is necessary and sufficient for the import of nucleus-encoded interior chloroplast proteins. Over the past decade, extensive research on the TP has revealed many important characteristic features of TPs. These studies have also shed light on the question of how the many diverse TPs could have evolved to target specific proteins to the chloroplast. In this review, we summarize the characteristic features of TPs. We also highlight recent advances in our understanding of TP evolution and provide future perspectives about this important research area.
Keywords: chloroplast evolution, endosymbiosis, protein import into chloroplasts, transit peptide

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28 February 2018 Volume 41,
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