Chloroplasts are the green plastids responsible for light-powered photosynthetic reactions and carbon assimilation in the plant cell. Our knowledge of chloroplast functions is constantly increasing and we now know this plastid is predicted to house around 3000 proteins. However, even with generous estimates, we do not know the function of more than 10-15% of these proteins. The next frontier in chloroplast research is to identify and characterize the function of the whole chloroplast proteome, a challenging task due to the inherent complexity a proteome possesses. A logical starting point is to identify and study proteins that have been determined experimentally to be localized in the chloroplast, conserved only among the photosynthetic lineage. These are the proteins with the most probable and important roles in chloroplast function. This review gives an introduction to the GreenCut2, a collection of proteins present only in photosynthetic organisms. By using recent large scale proteomics data, this cut was narrowed to include only those proteins experimentally verified to be localized in the chloroplast, and more specifically to the photosynthetic thylakoid membrane. By using highly informative bioinformatic approaches, the theoretical functional prediction for several of these uncharacterized GreenCut2 proteins is discussed.
- Thylakoid membrane