Identification of an Arabidopsis unknown small membrane protein targeted to mitochondria, chloroplasts, and peroxisomes

Mohamad Abu-Abied, Dror Avisar, Eduard Belausov, Vered Holdengreber, Zvi Kam, Einat Sadot*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a functional genomic screen performed by combining an Arabidopsis-yellow fluorescent protein (YFP)-fused complementary DNA (cDNA) library, rat fibroblasts as host and automatic microscopy, we found a short protein with a predictable trans-membrane domain encoded on chromosome 2. In rat fibroblasts, its pattern of distribution was to various organelle-like structures. From the databases, we learned that it has another family member in Arabidopsis and homologs in several other plants, Chlamydomonas and fungi, with a highly conserved N-terminal region. We named this protein from Arabidopsis short membrane protein (SMP) 2. No SMP homologs were found in mammalian sequence databases. When the full-length cDNAs of SMP2 was fused to YFP under the 35S promoter, comparable distribution was observed in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves, suggesting an unknown, evolutionarily conserved localization signal. Similar localization was observed when SMP2 was expressed in N. benthamiana leaves under the control of its own 5′ regulatory sequences. Colocalization studies with green fluorescent protein and red fluorescent protein chimeras revealed its colocalization with chloroplasts, peroxisomes, and mitochondria. No localization of SMP2 was observed in the Golgi. Immunostaining with specific antibodies corroborated the SMP2 localization to the three organelles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-12
Number of pages10
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Arabidopsis
  • Chloroplasts
  • GFP
  • Mitochondria
  • Peroxisomes


Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of an Arabidopsis unknown small membrane protein targeted to mitochondria, chloroplasts, and peroxisomes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this