Showing 1 - 7 of 7 results
Using HEK293T Expression System to Study Photoactive Plant Cryptochromes.
Cryptochromes are photolyase-like blue light receptors that are conserved in plants and animals. Although the light-dependent catalytic mechanism of photolyase is well studied, the photochemical mechanism of cryptochromes remains largely unknown. Lack of an appropriate protein expression system to obtain photochemically active cryptochrome holoproteins is a technical obstacle for the study of plant cryptochromes. We report here an easy-to-use method to express and study Arabidopsis cryptochrome in HEK293T cells. Our results indicate that Arabidopsis cryptochromes expressed in HEK293T are photochemically active. We envision a broad use of this method in the functional investigation of plant proteins, especially in the large-scale analyses of photochemical activities of cryptochromes such as blue light-dependent protein-protein interactions.
Multiple bHLH proteins form heterodimers to mediate CRY2-dependent regulation of flowering-time in Arabidopsis.
Arabidopsis thaliana cryptochrome 2 (CRY2) mediates light control of flowering time. CIB1 (CRY2-interacting bHLH 1) specifically interacts with CRY2 in response to blue light to activate the transcription of FT (Flowering Locus T). In vitro, CIB1 binds to the canonical E-box (CACGTG, also referred to as G-box) with much higher affinity than its interaction with non-canonical E-box (CANNTG) DNA sequences. However, in vivo, CIB1 binds to the chromatin region of the FT promoter, which only contains the non-canonical E-box sequences. Here, we show that CRY2 also interacts with at least CIB5, in response to blue light, but not in darkness or in response to other wavelengths of light. Our genetic analysis demonstrates that CIB1, CIB2, CIB4, and CIB5 act redundantly to activate the transcription of FT and that they are positive regulators of CRY2 mediated flowering. More importantly, CIB1 and other CIBs proteins form heterodimers, and some of the heterodimers have a higher binding affinity than the CIB homodimers to the non-canonical E-box in the in vitro DNA-binding assays. This result explains why in vitro CIB1 and other CIBs bind to the canonical E-box (G-box) with a higher affinity, whereas they are all associated with the non-canonical E-boxes at the FT promoter in vivo. Consistent with the hypothesis that different CIB proteins play similar roles in the CRY2-midiated blue light signaling, the expression of CIB proteins is regulated specifically by blue light. Our study demonstrates that CIBs function redundantly in regulating CRY2-dependent flowering, and that different CIBs form heterodimers to interact with the non-canonical E-box DNA in vivo.
Arabidopsis CRY2 and ZTL mediate blue-light regulation of the transcription factor CIB1 by distinct mechanisms.
Plants possess multiple photoreceptors to mediate light regulation of growth and development, but it is not well understood how different photoreceptors coordinate their actions to jointly regulate developmental responses, such as flowering time. In Arabidopsis, the photoexcited cryptochrome 2 interacts with the transcription factor CRYPTOCHROME-INTERACTING basic helix-loop-helix 1 (CIB1) to activate transcription and floral initiation. We show that the CIB1 protein expression is regulated by blue light; CIB1 is highly expressed in plants exposed to blue light, but levels of the CIB1 protein decreases in the absence of blue light. We demonstrate that CIB1 is degraded by the 26S proteasome and that blue light suppresses CIB1 degradation. Surprisingly, although cryptochrome 2 physically interacts with CIB1 in response to blue light, it is not the photoreceptor mediating blue-light suppression of CIB1 degradation. Instead, two of the three light-oxygen-voltage (LOV)-domain photoreceptors, ZEITLUPE and LOV KELCH PROTEIN 2, but not FLAVIN-BINDING KELCH REPEAT 1, are required for the function and blue-light suppression of degradation of CIB1. These results support the hypothesis that the evolutionarily unrelated blue-light receptors, cryptochrome and LOV-domain F-box proteins, mediate blue-light regulation of the same transcription factor by distinct mechanisms.
Optogenetic control of transcription in zebrafish.
Light inducible protein-protein interactions are powerful tools to manipulate biological processes. Genetically encoded light-gated proteins for controlling precise cellular behavior are a new and promising technology, called optogenetics. Here we exploited the blue light-induced transcription system in yeast and zebrafish, based on the blue light dependent interaction between two plant proteins, blue light photoreceptor Cryptochrome 2 (CRY2) and the bHLH transcription factor CIB1 (CRY-interacting bHLH 1). We demonstrate the utility of this system by inducing rapid transcription suppression and activation in zebrafish.
The action mechanisms of plant cryptochromes.
Cryptochromes (CRY) are blue-light receptors that mediate various light responses in plants. The photoexcited CRY molecules undergo several biophysical and biochemical changes, including electron transfer, phosphorylation and ubiquitination, resulting in conformational changes to propagate light signals. Two modes of CRY signal transduction have recently been discovered: the cryptochrome-interacting basic-helix-loop-helix 1 (CIB)-dependent CRY2 regulation of transcription; and the SUPPRESSOR OF PHYA1/CONSTITUTIVELY PHOTOMORPHOGENIC1 (SPA1/COP1)-dependent cryptochrome regulation of proteolysis. Both CRY signaling pathways rely on blue light-dependent interactions between the CRY photoreceptor and its signaling proteins to modulate gene expression changes in response to blue light, leading to altered developmental programs in plants.
The Cryptochrome Blue Light Receptors.
Cryptochromes are photolyase-like blue light receptors originally discovered in Arabidopsis but later found in other
plants, microbes, and animals. Arabidopsis has two cryptochromes, CRY1 and CRY2, which mediate primarily blue light
inhibition of hypocotyl elongation and photoperiodic control of fl oral initiation, respectively. In addition, cryptochromes
also regulate over a dozen other light responses, including circadian rhythms, tropic growth, stomata opening, guard
cell development, root development, bacterial and viral pathogen responses, abiotic stress responses, cell cycles, programmed
cell death, apical dominance, fruit and ovule development, seed dormancy, and magnetoreception. Cryptochromes
have two domains, the N-terminal PHR (Photolyase-Homologous Region) domain that bind the chromophore
FAD (flavin adenine dinucleotide), and the CCE (CRY C-terminal Extension) domain that appears intrinsically unstructured
but critical to the function and regulation of cryptochromes. Most cryptochromes accumulate in the nucleus,
and they undergo blue light-dependent phosphorylation or ubiquitination. It is hypothesized that photons excite electrons
of the fl avin molecule, resulting in redox reaction or circular electron shuttle and conformational changes of the
photoreceptors. The photoexcited cryptochrome are phosphorylated to adopt an open conformation, which interacts
with signaling partner proteins to alter gene expression at both transcriptional and posttranslational levels and consequently
the metabolic and developmental programs of plants.
Photoexcited CRY2 interacts with CIB1 to regulate transcription and floral initiation in Arabidopsis.
Cryptochromes (CRY) are photolyase-like blue-light receptors that mediate light responses in plants and animals. How plant cryptochromes act in response to blue light is not well understood. We report here the identification and characterization of the Arabidopsis CIB1 (cryptochrome-interacting basic-helix-loop-helix) protein. CIB1 interacts with CRY2 (cryptochrome 2) in a blue light-specific manner in yeast and Arabidopsis cells, and it acts together with additional CIB1-related proteins to promote CRY2-dependent floral initiation. CIB1 binds to G box (CACGTG) in vitro with a higher affinity than its interaction with other E-box elements (CANNTG). However, CIB1 stimulates FT messenger RNA expression, and it interacts with chromatin DNA of the FT gene that possesses various E-box elements except G box. We propose that the blue light-dependent interaction of cryptochrome(s) with CIB1 and CIB1-related proteins represents an early photoreceptor signaling mechanism in plants.