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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The C termini of Arabidopsis cryptochromes mediate a constitutive light response.

Cryptochrome blue light photoreceptors share sequence similarity to photolyases, flavoproteins that mediate light-dependent DNA repair. However, cryptochromes lack photolyase activity and are characterized by distinguishing C-terminal domains. Here we show that the signaling mechanism of Arabidopsis cryptochrome is mediated through the C terminus. On fusion with beta-glucuronidase (GUS), both the Arabidopsis CRY1 C-terminal domain ( CCT1) and the CRY2 C-terminal domain (CCT2) mediate a constitutive light response. This constitutive photomorphogenic (COP) phenotype was not observed for mutants of cct1 corresponding to previously described cry1 alleles. We propose that the C-terminal domain of Arabidopsis cryptochrome is maintained in an inactive state in the dark. Irradiation with blue light relieves this repression, presumably through an intra- or intermolecular redox reaction mediated through the flavin bound to the N-terminal photolyase-like domain.[1]


  1. The C termini of Arabidopsis cryptochromes mediate a constitutive light response. Yang, H.Q., Wu, Y.J., Tang, R.H., Liu, D., Liu, Y., Cashmore, A.R. Cell (2000) [Pubmed]
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