Chloroplast gene expression is primarily controlled during the translation of plastid mRNAs into proteins, and genetic studies have identified cis-acting RNA elements and trans-acting protein factors required for chloroplast translation. Biochemical analysis has identified both general and specific mRNA-binding proteins as components of the regulation of chloroplast translation, and has revealed that chloroplast translation is related to bacterial translation but is more complex. Utilizing proteomic and bioinformatic analyses, we have identified the proteins that function in chloroplast translation, including a complete set of chloroplast ribosomal proteins, and homologues of the 70 S initiation, elongation and termination factors. These analyses show that the translational apparatus of chloroplasts is related to that of bacteria, but has adopted a number of eukaryotic mechanisms to facilitate and regulate chloroplast translation.

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