Protein import into chloroplasts: The Tic complex and its regulation

Erika Kovács-Bogdán, Jürgen Soll, Bettina Bölter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

54 Citations (Scopus)


Chloroplasts like mitochondria were derived from an endosymbiontic event. Due to the massive gene transfer to the nucleus during endosymbiosis, only a limited number of chloroplastic proteins are still encoded for in the plastid genome. Most of the nuclear-encoded plastidic proteins are post-translationally translocated back to the chloroplast via the general import pathway through distinct outer and inner envelope membrane protein complexes, the Toc and Tic translocons (Translocon at the outer/. inner envelope membrane of chloroplasts). Eight Tic subunits have been described so far, including two potential channel proteins (Tic110 and Tic20), the "motor complex" (Tic40 associated with the stromal chaperone Hsp93) and the "redox regulon" (Tic62, Tic55, and Tic32) involved in regulation of protein import via the metabolic redox status of the chloroplast. Regulation can additionally occur via thioredoxins (Tic110 and Tic55) or via the calcium/calmodulin network (Tic110 and Tic32). In this review we present the current knowledge about the Tic complex focusing on its regulation and addressing some still open questions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)740-747
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2010


  • Calcium/calmodulin
  • Chloroplast
  • Endosymbiosis
  • Protein import
  • Redox regulation
  • Tic complex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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