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Two distinct domains of the UVR8 photoreceptor interact with COP1 to initiate UV-B signaling in Arabidopsis.
UV-B photon reception by the Arabidopsis thaliana homodimeric UV RESISTANCE LOCUS8 (UVR8) photoreceptor leads to its monomerization and a crucial interaction with CONSTITUTIVELY PHOTOMORPHOGENIC1 (COP1). Relay of the subsequent signal regulates UV-B-induced photomorphogenesis and stress acclimation. Here, we report that two separate domains of UVR8 interact with COP1: the β-propeller domain of UVR8 mediates UV-B-dependent interaction with the WD40 repeats-based predicted β-propeller domain of COP1, whereas COP1 activity is regulated by interaction through the UVR8 C-terminal C27 domain. We show not only that the C27 domain is required for UVR8 activity but also that chemically induced expression of the C27 domain is sufficient to mimic UV-B signaling. We further show, in contrast with COP1, that the WD40 repeat proteins REPRESSOR OF UV-B PHOTOMORPHOGENESIS1 (RUP1) and RUP2 interact only with the UVR8 C27 domain. This coincides with their facilitation of UVR8 reversion to the ground state by redimerization and their potential to interact with UVR8 in a UV-B-independent manner. Collectively, our results provide insight into a key mechanism of photoreceptor-mediated signaling and its negative feedback regulation.
The UVR8 UV-B Photoreceptor: Perception, Signaling and Response.
Ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B) is an intrinsic part of sunlight that is accompanied by significant biological effects. Plants are able to perceive UV-B using the UV-B photoreceptor UVR8 which is linked to a specific molecular signaling pathway and leads to UV-B acclimation. Herein we review the biological process in plants from initial UV-B perception and signal transduction through to the known UV-B responses that promote survival in sunlight. The UVR8 UV-B photoreceptor exists as a homodimer that instantly monomerises upon UV-B absorption via specific intrinsic tryptophans which act as UV-B chromophores. The UVR8 monomer interacts with COP1, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, initiating a molecular signaling pathway that leads to gene expression changes. This signaling output leads to UVR8-dependent responses including UV-B-induced photomorphogenesis and the accumulation of UV-B-absorbing flavonols. Negative feedback regulation of the pathway is provided by the WD40-repeat proteins RUP1 and RUP2, which facilitate UVR8 redimerization, disrupting the UVR8-COP1 interaction. Despite rapid advancements in the field of recent years, further components of UVR8 UV-B signaling are constantly emerging, and the precise interplay of these and the established players UVR8, COP1, RUP1, RUP2 and HY5 needs to be defined. UVR8 UV-B signaling represents our further understanding of how plants are able to sense their light environment and adjust their growth accordingly.
Multi-chromatic control of mammalian gene expression and signaling.
The emergence and future of mammalian synthetic biology depends on technologies for orchestrating and custom tailoring complementary gene expression and signaling processes in a predictable manner. Here, we demonstrate for the first time multi-chromatic expression control in mammalian cells by differentially inducing up to three genes in a single cell culture in response to light of different wavelengths. To this end, we developed an ultraviolet B (UVB)-inducible expression system by designing a UVB-responsive split transcription factor based on the Arabidopsis thaliana UVB receptor UVR8 and the WD40 domain of COP1. The system allowed high (up to 800-fold) UVB-induced gene expression in human, monkey, hamster and mouse cells. Based on a quantitative model, we determined critical system parameters. By combining this UVB-responsive system with blue and red light-inducible gene control technology, we demonstrate multi-chromatic multi-gene control by differentially expressing three genes in a single cell culture in mammalian cells, and we apply this system for the multi-chromatic control of angiogenic signaling processes. This portfolio of optogenetic tools enables the design and implementation of synthetic biological networks showing unmatched spatiotemporal precision for future research and biomedical applications.
Ultraviolet-B-mediated induction of protein-protein interactions in mammalian cells.
Light-sensitive proteins are useful tools to control protein localization, activation and gene expression, but are currently limited to excitation with red or blue light. Here we report a novel optogenetic system based on the ultraviolet-B-dependent interaction of the Arabidopsis ultraviolet-B photoreceptor UVR8 with COP1 that can be performed in visible light background. We use this system to induce nuclear accumulation of cytoplasmic green fluorescent protein fused to UVR8 in cells expressing nuclear COP1, and to recruit a nucleoplasmic red fluorescent protein fused to COP1 to chromatin in cells expressing UVR8-H2B. We also show that ultraviolet-B-dependent interactions between DNA-binding and transcription activation domains result in a linear induction of gene expression. The UVR8-COP1 interactions in mammalian cells can be induced using subsecond pulses of ultraviolet-B light and last several hours. As UVR8 photoperception is based on intrinsic tryptophan residues, these interactions do not depend on the addition of an exogenous chromophore.
Perception of UV-B by the Arabidopsis UVR8 protein.
To optimize their growth and survival, plants perceive and respond to ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation. However, neither the molecular identity of the UV-B photoreceptor nor the photoperception mechanism is known. Here we show that dimers of the UVR8 protein perceive UV-B, probably by a tryptophan-based mechanism. Absorption of UV-B induces instant monomerization of the photoreceptor and interaction with COP1, the central regulator of light signaling. Thereby this signaling cascade controlled by UVR8 mediates UV-B photomorphogenic responses securing plant acclimation and thus promotes survival in sunlight.
Interaction of COP1 and UVR8 regulates UV-B-induced photomorphogenesis and stress acclimation in Arabidopsis.
The ultraviolet-B (UV-B) portion of the solar radiation functions as an environmental signal for which plants have evolved specific and sensitive UV-B perception systems. The UV-B-specific UV RESPONSE LOCUS 8 (UVR8) and the multifunctional E3 ubiquitin ligase CONSTITUTIVELY PHOTOMORPHOGENIC 1 (COP1) are key regulators of the UV-B response. We show here that uvr8-null mutants are deficient in UV-B-induced photomorphogenesis and hypersensitive to UV-B stress, whereas overexpression of UVR8 results in enhanced UV-B photomorphogenesis, acclimation and tolerance to UV-B stress. By using sun simulators, we provide evidence at the physiological level that UV-B acclimation mediated by the UV-B-specific photoregulatory pathway is indeed required for survival in sunlight. At the molecular level, we demonstrate that the wild type but not the mutant UVR8 and COP1 proteins directly interact in a UV-B-dependent, rapid manner in planta. These data collectively suggest that UV-B-specific interaction of COP1 and UVR8 in the nucleus is a very early step in signalling and responsible for the plant's coordinated response to UV-B ensuring UV-B acclimation and protection in the natural environment.