Protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) is a chaperone protein involved in oxidative protein folding by acting as a catalyst and assisting folding in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). A genome database search showed that rice contains 19 PDI-like genes. However, their functions are not clearly identified. This paper shows possible functions of rice PDI-like protein 1-1 (PDIL1-1) during seed development. Seeds of the T-DNA insertion PDIL1-1 mutant, PDIL1-1Δ, identified by genomic DNA PCR and western blot analysis, display a chalky phenotype and a thick aleurone layer. Protein content per seed was significantly lower and free sugar content higher in PDIL1-1Δ mutant seeds than in the wild type. Proteomic analysis of PDIL1-1Δ mutant seeds showed that PDIL1-1 is post-translationally regulated, and its loss causes accumulation of many types of seed proteins including glucose/starch metabolism- and ROS (reactive oxygen species) scavenging-related proteins. In addition, PDIL1-1 strongly interacts with the cysteine protease OsCP1. Our data indicate that the opaque phenotype of PDIL1-1Δ mutant seeds results from production of irregular starch granules and protein body through loss of regulatory activity for various proteins involved in the synthesis of seed components.
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