Signaling mechanisms of plant cryptochromes in Arabidopsis thaliana
Cryptochromes (CRY) are flavoproteins that direct a diverse array of developmental processes in response to blue light in plants. Conformational changes in CRY are induced by the absorption of photons and result in the propagation of light signals to downstream components. In Arabidopsis, CRY1 and CRY2 serve both distinct and partially overlapping functions in regulating photomorphogenic responses and photoperiodic flowering. For example, both CRY1 and CRY2 regulate the abundance of transcription factors by directly reversing the activity of E3 ubiquitin ligase on CONSTITUTIVE PHOTOMORPHOGENIC 1 and SUPPRESSOR OF PHYA-105 1 complexes in a blue light-dependent manner. CRY2 also specifically governs a photoperiodic flowering mechanism by directly interacting with a transcription factor called CRYPTOCHROME-INTERACTING BASIC-HELIX-LOOP-HELIX. Recently, structure/function analysis of CRY1 revealed that the CONSTITUTIVE PHOTOMORPHOGENIC 1 independent pathway is also involved in CRY1-mediated inhibition of hypocotyl elongation. CRY1 and CRY2 thus not only share a common pathway but also relay light signals through distinct pathways, which may lead to altered developmental programs in plants.
KeywordsCryptochrome De-etiolation Flowering Photomorphogenesis Transcription
This work was supported by the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in Fujian Province University and the School Special Development program of Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (6112C035001).
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