Biochemistry (Moscow)

, Volume 83, Issue 6, pp 662–673 | Cite as

Aureochromes – Blue Light Receptors

  • A. B. Matiiv
  • E. M. ChekunovaEmail author


A variety of living organisms including bacteria, fungi, animals, and plants use blue light (BL) to adapt to changing ambient light. Photosynthetic forms (plants and algae) require energy of light for photosynthesis, movements, development, and regulation of activity. Several complex light-sensitive systems evolved in eukaryotic cells to use the information of light efficiently with photoreceptors selectively absorbing various segments of the solar spectrum, being the first components in the light signal transduction chain. They are most diverse in algae. Photosynthetic stramenopiles, which received chloroplasts from red algae during secondary symbiosis, play an important role in ecosystems and aquaculture, being primary producers. These taxa acquired the ability to use BL for regulation of such processes as phototropism, chloroplast photo-relocation movement, and photomorphogenesis. A new type of BL receptor–aureochrome (AUREO)–was identified in Vaucheria frigida in 2007. AUREO consists of two domains: bZIP (basic-region leucine zipper) domain and LOV (light-oxygen-voltage-sensing) domain, and thus this photoreceptor is a BL-sensitive transcription factor. This review presents current data on the structure, mechanisms of action, and biochemical features of aureochromes.


photoreceptors aureochromes Vaucheria frigida Phaeodactylum tricornutum 



base helix-loop-helix


blue light


blue light sensing using FAD


basic-region leucine zipper




light response elements


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© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.St. Petersburg State UniversityFaculty of BiologySt. PetersburgRussia

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