A Brassica napus Lipase Locates at the Membrane Contact Sites Involved in Chloroplast Development

Background

Fatty acids synthesized in chloroplast are transported to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) for triacylglycerols (TAGs) resembling. The development of chloroplast also requires lipids trafficking from ER to chloroplast. The membrane contact sites (MCSs) between ER and chloroplast has been demonstrated to be involved for the trafficking of lipids and proteins. Lipids trafficking between ER and chloroplast is often accompanied by lipids interconversion. However, it is rarely known how lipids interconversion happens during their trafficking.

Methodology/Principal Findings

We cloned a lipase gene from Brassica napus L., designated as BnCLIP1. Green fluorescence protein (GFP)-tagged BnCLIP1 was shown to locate at the MCSs between ER and chloroplasts in tobacco leaves. Heterogeneous expression of BnCLIP1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (pep4) reduced the total amount of fatty acid. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis revealed that the truncated BnCLIP1 had a substrate preference for C16:0 lipids in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (pep4). To probe the physiological function of BnCLIP1, two Brassica napus lines with different oil-content were introduced to investigate the transcript patterns of BnCLIP1 during seed development. Intriguingly, the transcript level of BnCLIP1 was found to be immediately up-regulated during the natural seed senescence of both lines; the transcription response of BnCLIP1 in the high oil-content seeds was faster than the lower ones, suggesting a potential role of BnCLIP1 in affecting seed oil synthesis via regulating chloroplast integrity. Further researches showed that chemical disruption of leaf chloroplast also activated the transcription of BnCLIP1.

Conclusions/Significance

The findings of this study show that BnCLIP1 encodes a lipase, localizes at the MCSs and involves in chloroplast development.