Showing 601 - 618 of 618 results
Structural basis for light-dependent signaling in the dimeric LOV domain of the photosensor YtvA.
The photosensor YtvA binds flavin mononucleotide and regulates the general stress reaction in Bacillus subtilis in response to blue light illumination. It belongs to the family of light-oxygen-voltage (LOV) proteins that were first described in plant phototropins and form a subgroup of the Per-Arnt-Sim (PAS) superfamily. Here, we report the three-dimensional structure of the LOV domain of YtvA in its dark and light states. The protein assumes the global fold common to all PAS domains and dimerizes via a hydrophobic interface. Directly C-terminal to the core of the LOV domain, an alpha-helix extends into the solvent. Light absorption causes formation of a covalent bond between a conserved cysteine residue and atom C(4a) of the FMN ring, which triggers rearrangements throughout the LOV domain. Concomitantly, in the dark and light structures, the two subunits of the dimeric protein rotate relative to each other by 5 degrees . This small quaternary structural change is presumably a component of the mechanism by which the activity of YtvA is regulated in response to light. In terms of both structure and signaling mechanism, YtvA differs from plant phototropins and more closely resembles prokaryotic heme-binding PAS domains.
Steric interactions stabilize the signaling state of the LOV2 domain of phototropin 1.
Phototropins (phot1 and phot2) are blue light receptor kinases that control a range of photoresponses that serve to optimize the photosynthetic efficiency of plants. Light sensing by the phototropins is mediated by a repeated motif at the N-terminal region of the protein known as the LOV domain. Bacterially expressed LOV domains bind flavin mononucleotide noncovalently and are photochemically active in solution. Irradiation of the LOV domain results in the formation of a flavin-cysteinyl adduct (LOV390) which thermally relaxes back to the ground state in the dark, effectively completing a photocycle that serves as a molecular switch to control receptor kinase activity. We have employed a random mutagenesis approach to identify further amino acid residues involved in LOV-domain photochemistry. Escherichia coli colonies expressing a mutagenized population of LOV2 derived from Avena sativa (oat) phot1 were screened for variants that showed altered photochemical reactivity in response to blue light excitation. One variant showed slower rates of LOV390 formation but exhibited adduct decay times 1 order of magnitude faster than wild type. A single Ile --> Val substitution was responsible for the effects observed, which removes a single methyl group found in van der Waals contact with the cysteine sulfur involved in adduct formation. A kinetic acceleration trend was observed for adduct decay by decreasing the size of the isoleucine side chain. Our findings therefore indicate that the steric nature of this amino acid side chain contributes to stabilization of the C-S cysteinyl adduct.
Functional transplant of photoactivated adenylyl cyclase (PAC) into Aplysia sensory neurons.
In neural mechanisms of animal learning, intracellular cAMP has been known to play an important role. In the present experiments we attempted functional transplant of a photoactivated adenylyl cyclase (PAC) isolated from Euglena into Aplysia neurons, and explored whether PAC can produce cAMP in the neurons by light stimulation. Serotonergic modulation of mechanoafferent sensory neurons in Aplysia pleural ganglia has been reported to increase intracellular cAMP level and promotes synaptic transmission to motor neurons by increasing spike width of sensory neurons. When cAMP was directly injected into the sensory neurons, spike amplitude temporarily decreased while spike width temporarily increased. This effect was not substituted by injection of 5'AMP, and maintained longer in a bath solution containing IBMX, the phosphodiesterase inhibitor. We, therefore, explored these changes as indicators of appearance of the PAC function. PAC or the PAC expression vector (pNEX-PAC) was injected into cell bodies of sensory neurons. Spike amplitude decreased in both cases and spike width increased in the PAC injection when the neurons were stimulated with light, suggesting that the transplanted PAC works well in Aplysia neurons. These results indicate that we can control cAMP production in specific neurons with light by the functional transplant of PAC.
A novel photoreaction mechanism for the circadian blue light photoreceptor Drosophila cryptochrome.
Cryptochromes are flavoproteins that are evolutionary related to the DNA photolyases but lack DNA repair activity. Drosophila cryptochrome (dCRY) is a blue light photoreceptor that is involved in the synchronization of the circadian clock with the environmental light-dark cycle. Until now, spectroscopic and structural studies on this and other animal cryptochromes have largely been hampered by difficulties in their recombinant expression. We have therefore established an expression and purification scheme that enables us to purify mg amounts of monomeric dCRY from Sf21 insect cell cultures. Using UV-visible spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and reversed phase high pressure liquid chromatography, we show that insect cell-purified dCRY contains flavin adenine dinucleotide in its oxidized state (FAD(ox)) and residual amounts of methenyltetrahydrofolate. Upon blue light irradiation, dCRY undergoes a reversible absorption change, which is assigned to the conversion of FAD(ox) to the red anionic FAD(.) radical. Our findings lead us to propose a novel photoreaction mechanism for dCRY, in which FAD(ox) corresponds to the ground state, whereas the FAD(.) radical represents the light-activated state that mediates resetting of the Drosophila circadian clock.
Structure and photoreaction of photoactive yellow protein, a structural prototype of the PAS domain superfamily.
Photoactive yellow protein (PYP) is a water-soluble photosensor protein found in purple photosynthetic bacteria. Unlike bacterial rhodopsins, photosensor proteins composed of seven transmembrane helices and a retinal chromophore in halophilic archaebacteria, PYP is a highly soluble globular protein. The alpha/beta fold structure of PYP is a structural prototype of the PAS domain superfamily, many members of which function as sensors for various kinds of stimuli. To absorb a photon in the visible region, PYP has a p-coumaric acid chromophore binding to the cysteine residue via a thioester bond. It exists in a deprotonated trans form in the dark. The primary photochemical event is photo-isomerization of the chromophore from trans to cis form. The twisted cis chromophore in early intermediates is relaxed and finally protonated. Consequently, the chromophore becomes electrostatically neutral and rearrangement of the hydrogen-bonding network triggers overall structural change of the protein moiety, in which local conformational change around the chromophore is propagated to the N-terminal region. Thus, it is an ideal model for protein conformational changes that result in functional change, responding to stimuli and expressing physiological activity. In this paper, recent progress in investigation of the photoresponse of PYP is reviewed.
Fast manipulation of cellular cAMP level by light in vivo.
The flagellate Euglena gracilis contains a photoactivated adenylyl cyclase (PAC), consisting of the flavoproteins PACalpha and PACbeta. Here we report functional expression of PACs in Xenopus laevis oocytes, HEK293 cells and in Drosophila melanogaster, where neuronal expression yields light-induced changes in behavior. The activity of PACs is strongly and reversibly enhanced by blue light, providing a powerful tool for light-induced manipulation of cAMP in animal cells.
An unorthodox bacteriophytochrome from Rhodobacter sphaeroides involved in turnover of the second messenger c-di-GMP.
Bacteriophytochromes are bacterial photoreceptors that sense red/far red light using the biliverdin chromophore. Most bacteriophytochromes work as photoactivated protein kinases. The Rhodobacter sphaeroides bacteriophytochrome BphG1 is unconventional in that it has GGDEF and EAL output domains, which are involved, respectively, in synthesis (diguanylate cyclase) and degradation (phosphodiesterase) of the bacterial second messenger c-di-GMP. The GGDEF-EAL proteins studied to date displayed either diguanylate cyclase or phosphodiesterase activity but not both. To elucidate the function of BphG1, the holoprotein was purified from an Escherichia coli overexpression system designed to produce biliverdin. The holoprotein contained covalently bound biliverdin and interconverted between the red (dark) and far red (light-activated) forms. BphG1 had c-di-GMP-specific phosphodiesterase activity. Unexpectedly for a photochromic protein, this activity was essentially light-independent. BphG1 expressed in E. coli was found to undergo partial cleavage into two species. The smaller species was identified as the EAL domain of BphG1. It possessed c-di-GMP phosphodiesterase activity. Surprisingly, the larger species lacking EAL possessed diguanylate cyclase activity, which was dependent on biliverdin and strongly activated by light. BphG1 therefore is the first phytochrome with a non-kinase photoactivated enzymatic activity. This shows that the photosensory modules of phytochromes can transmit light signals to various outputs. BphG1 is potentially the first "bifunctional" enzyme capable of both c-di-GMP synthesis and hydrolysis. A model for the regulation of the "opposite" activities of BphG1 is presented.
Blue light activates the sigmaB-dependent stress response of Bacillus subtilis via YtvA.
Here we present evidence for a physiologically relevant light response mediated by the LOV domain-containing protein YtvA in the soil bacterium Bacillus subtilis. The loss and overproduction of YtvA abolish and enhance, respectively, the increase in sigma(B)-controlled ctc promoter activity at moderate light intensities. These effects were absent in the dark and in red light but present under blue-light illumination. Thus, activation of the general stress response in B. subtilis is modulated by blue light.
Synthetic biology: engineering Escherichia coli to see light.
We have designed a bacterial system that is switched between different states by red light. The system consists of a synthetic sensor kinase that allows a lawn of bacteria to function as a biological film, such that the projection of a pattern of light on to the bacteria produces a high-definition (about 100 megapixels per square inch), two-dimensional chemical image. This spatial control of bacterial gene expression could be used to 'print' complex biological materials, for example, and to investigate signalling pathways through precise spatial and temporal control of their phosphorylation steps.
Kinetic analysis of the activation of photoactivated adenylyl cyclase (PAC), a blue-light receptor for photomovements of Euglena.
Photoactivated adenylyl cyclase (PAC) was first purified from a photosensing organelle (the paraflagellar body) of the unicellular flagellate Euglena gracilis, and is regarded as the photoreceptor for the step-up photophobic response. Here, we report the kinetic properties of photoactivation of PAC and a change in intracellular cAMP levels upon blue light irradiation. Activation of PAC was dependent both on photon fluence rate and duration of irradiation, between which reciprocity held well in the range of 2--50 micromol m(-2) s(-1)(total fluence of 1200 micromol m(-2)). Intermittent irradiation also caused activation of PAC in a photon fluence-dependent manner irrespective of cycle periods. Wavelength dependency of PAC activation showed prominent peaks in the UV-B/C, UV-A and blue regions of the spectrum. The time course of the changes in intracellular cAMP levels corresponded well with that of the step-up photophobic response. From this and the kinetic properties of PAC photoactivation, we concluded that an increase in intracellular cAMP levels evoked by photoactivation of PAC is a key event of the step-up photophobic response.
VIVID is a flavoprotein and serves as a fungal blue light photoreceptor for photoadaptation.
Blue light regulates many physiological and developmental processes in fungi. Most of the blue light responses in the ascomycete Neurospora crassa are dependent on the two blue light regulatory proteins White Collar (WC)-1 and -2. WC-1 has recently been shown to be the first fungal blue light photoreceptor. In the present study, we characterize the Neurospora protein VIVID. VIVID shows a partial sequence similarity with plant blue light photoreceptors. In addition, we found that VIVID non-covalently binds a flavin chromophore. Upon illumination with blue light, VIVID undergoes a photocycle indicative of the formation of a flavin-cysteinyl adduct. VVD is localized in the cytoplasm and is only present after light induction. A loss-of-function vvd mutant was insensitive to increases in light intensities. Furthermore, mutational analysis of the photoactive cysteine indicated that the formation of a flavin-cysteinyl adduct is essential for VIVID functions in vivo. Our results show that VIVID is a second fungal blue light photoreceptor which enables Neurospora to perceive and respond to daily changes in light intensity.
Structural basis of a phototropin light switch.
Phototropins are light-activated kinases important for plant responses to blue light. Light initiates signaling in these proteins by generating a covalent protein-flavin mononucleotide (FMN) adduct within sensory Per-ARNT-Sim (PAS) domains. We characterized the light-dependent changes of a phototropin PAS domain by solution nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and found that an alpha helix located outside the canonical domain plays a key role in this activation process. Although this helix associates with the PAS core in the dark, photoinduced changes in the domain structure disrupt this interaction. We propose that this mechanism couples light-dependent bond formation to kinase activation and identifies a signaling pathway conserved among PAS domains.
The LOV domain family: photoresponsive signaling modules coupled to diverse output domains.
For single-cell and multicellular systems to survive, they must accurately sense and respond to their cellular and extracellular environment. Light is a nearly ubiquitous environmental factor, and many species have evolved the capability to respond to this extracellular stimulus. Numerous photoreceptors underlie the activation of light-sensitive signal transduction cascades controlling these responses. Here, we review the properties of the light, oxygen, or voltage (LOV) family of blue-light photoreceptor domains, a subset of the Per-ARNT-Sim (PAS) superfamily. These flavin-binding domains, first identified in the higher-plant phototropins, are now shown to be present in plants, fungi, and bacteria. Notably, LOV domains are coupled to a wide array of other domains, including kinases, phosphodiesterases, F-box domains, STAS domains, and zinc fingers, which suggests that the absorption of blue light by LOV domains regulates the activity of these structurally and functionally diverse domains. LOV domains contain a conserved molecular volume extending from the flavin cofactor, which is the locus for light-driven structural change, to the molecular surface. We discuss the role of this conserved volume of structure in LOV-regulated processes.
BLUF: a novel FAD-binding domain involved in sensory transduction in microorganisms.
A novel FAD-binding domain, BLUF, exemplified by the N-terminus of the AppA protein from Rhodobacter sphaeroides, is present in various proteins, primarily from Bacteria. The BLUF domain is involved in sensing blue-light (and possibly redox) using FAD and is similar to the flavin-binding PAS domains and cryptochromes. The predicted secondary structure reveals that the BLUF domain is a novel FAD-binding fold.
A light-switchable gene promoter system.
Regulatable transgene systems providing easily controlled, conditional induction or repression of expression are indispensable tools in biomedical and agricultural research and biotechnology. Several such systems have been developed for eukaryotes. Most of these rely on the administration of either exogenous chemicals or heat shock. Despite the general success of many of these systems, the potential for problems, such as toxic, unintended, or pleiotropic effects of the inducing chemical or treatment, can impose limitations on their use. We have developed a promoter system that can be induced, rapidly and reversibly, by short pulses of light. This system is based on the known red light-induced binding of the plant photoreceptor phytochrome to the protein PIF3 and the reversal of this binding by far-red light. We show here that yeast cells expressing two chimeric proteins, a phytochrome-GAL4-DNA-binding-domain fusion and a PIF3-GAL4-activation-domain fusion, are induced by red light to express selectable or "scorable" marker genes containing promoters with a GAL4 DNA-binding site, and that this induction is rapidly abrogated by subsequent far-red light. We further show that the extent of induction can be controlled precisely by titration of the number of photons delivered to the cells by the light pulse. Thus, this system has the potential to provide rapid, noninvasive, switchable control of the expression of a desired gene to a preselected level in any suitable cell by simple exposure to a light signal.
Phototropins: a new family of flavin-binding blue light receptors in plants.
Phototropin is the designation originally assigned to a recently characterized chromoprotein that serves as a photoreceptor for phototropism. Phototropin is a light-activated autophosphorylating serine/threonine kinase that binds two flavin mononucleotide (FMN) molecules that function as blue light-absorbing chromophores. Each FMN molecule is bound in a rigid binding pocket within specialized PAS (PER-ARNT-SIM superfamily) domains, known as LOV (light, oxygen, or voltage) domains. This article reviews the detailed photobiological and biochemical characterization of the light-activated phosphorylation reaction of phototropin and follows the sequence of events leading to the cloning, sequencing, and characterization of the gene and the subsequent biochemical characterization of its encoded protein. It then considers recent biochemical and photochemical evidence that light activation of phototropin involves the formation of a cysteinyl adduct at the C(4a) position of the FMN chromophores. Adduct formation causes a major conformational change in the chromophores and a possible conformational change in the protein moiety as well. The review concludes with a brief discussion of the evidence for a second phototropin-like protein in Arabidopsis and rice. Possible roles for this photoreceptor are discussed.
Phytochrome B binds with greater apparent affinity than phytochrome A to the basic helix-loop-helix factor PIF3 in a reaction requiring the PAS domain of PIF3.
The signaling pathways by which the phytochrome (phy) family of photoreceptors transmits sensory information to light-regulated genes remain to be fully defined. Evidence for a relatively direct pathway has been provided by the binding of one member of the family, phyB, to a promoter-element-bound, basic helix-loop-helix protein, PIF3, specifically upon light-induced conversion of the photoreceptor molecule to its biologically active conformer (Pfr). Here, we show that phyA also binds selectively and reversibly to PIF3 upon photoconversion to Pfr, but that the apparent affinity of PIF3 for phyA is 10-fold lower than for phyB. This result is consistent with previous in vivo data from PIF3-deficient Arabidopsis, indicating that PIF3 has a major role in phyB signaling, but a more minor role in phyA signaling. We also show that phyB binds stoichiometrically to PIF3 at an equimolar ratio, suggesting that the resultant complex is the unit active in transcriptional regulation at target promoters. Deletion mapping suggests that a 37-aa segment present at the N terminus of phyB, but absent from phyA, contributes strongly to the high binding affinity of phyB for PIF3. Conversely, deletion mapping and point mutation analysis of PIF3 for determinants involved in recognition of phyB indicates that the PAS domain of PIF3 is a major contributor to this interaction, but that a second determinant in the C-terminal domain is also necessary.
Binding of phytochrome B to its nuclear signalling partner PIF3 is reversibly induced by light.
The phytochrome photoreceptor family directs plant gene expression by switching between biologically inactive and active conformers in response to the sequential absorption of red and farred photons. Several intermediates that act late in the phytochrome signalling pathway have been identified, but fewer have been identified that act early in the pathway. We have cloned a nuclear basic helix-loop-helix protein, PIF3, which can bind to non-photoactive carboxy-terminal fragments of phytochromes A and B and functions in phytochrome signalling in vivo. Here we show that full-length photoactive phytochrome B binds PIF3 in vitro only upon light-induced conversion to its active form, and that photoconversion back to its inactive form causes dissociation from PIF3. We conclude that photosensory signalling by phytochrome B involves light-induced, conformer-specific recognition of the putative transcriptional regulator PIF3, providing a potential mechanism for direct photoregulation of gene expression.