Redox signalling in chloroplasts and mitochondria: genomic and biochemical evidence for two-component regulatory systems in bioenergetic organelles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Redox chemistry is central to the primary functions of chloroplasts and mitochondria, that is, to energy conversion in photosynthesis and respiration. However, these bioenergetic organelles always contain very small, specialized genetic systems, relics of their bacterial origin. At huge cost, organellar genomes contain, typically, a mere 0.1% of the genetic information in a eukaryotic cell. There is evidence that chloroplast and mitochondrial genomes encode proteins whose function and biogenesis are particularly tightly governed by electron transfer. We have identified nuclear genes for 'bacterial' histidine sensor kinases and aspartate response regulators that seem to be targeted to chloroplast and mitochondrial membranes. Sequence similarities to cyanobacterial redox signalling components indicate homology and suggest conserved sensory and signalling functions. Two-component redox signalling pathways might be ancient, conserved mechanisms that permit endogenous control over the biogenesis, in situ, of bioenergetic complexes of chloroplasts and mitochondria.


  • Jens Forsberg
  • Magnus Rosenquist
  • Laure Fraysse
  • John Allen
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-407
JournalBiochemical Society Transactions
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Publication categoryResearch