Abstract. A chloroplast import receptor from pea, previously identified by antiidiotypic antibodies was purified and its primary structure deduced from its cDNA sequence. The protein is a 36-kD integral membrane protein (p36) with eight potential transmembrane segments. Fab prepared from monospecific anti-p36 IgG inhibits the import of the ribulose-l,5bisphosphate carboxylase small subunit precursor (pS) by interfering with pS binding at the chloroplast surface. Anti-p36 IgGs are able to immunoprecipitate a Triton X-100 soluble p36-pS complex, suggesting a direct interaction between p36 and pS. This immunoprecipitation was specific as it was abolished by a pS synthetic transit peptide, consistent with the transit sequence receptor function of p36. Immunoelectron microscopy localized p36 to regions of the outer chloroplast membrane that are in close contact with the inner chloroplast membrane. Comparison of the deduced sequence of pea p36 to that of other known C HLOROPLAST biogenesis requires a system by which hundreds of different precursor polypeptides are imported into the organelle from their site of synthesis on cytoplasmic ribosomes. The translocation of chloroplast proteins takes place posttranslationally and is an energydependen
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