Genetically encoded photoswitching of actin assembly through the Cdc42-WASP-Arp2/3 complex pathway.
ABSTRACT: General methods to engineer genetically encoded, reversible, light-mediated control over protein function would be useful in many areas of biomedical research and technology. We describe a system that yields such photo-control over actin assembly. We fused the Rho family GTPase Cdc42 in its GDP-bound form to the photosensory domain of phytochrome B (PhyB) and fused the Cdc42 effector, the Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein (WASP), to the light-dependent PhyB-binding domain of phytochrome interacting factor 3 (Pif3). Upon red light illumination, the fusion proteins bind each other, activating WASP, and consequently stimulating actin assembly by the WASP target, the Arp2/3 complex. Binding and WASP activation are reversed by far-red illumination. Our approach, in which the biochemical specificity of the nucleotide switch in Cdc42 is overridden by the light-dependent PhyB-Pif3 interaction, should be generally applicable to other GTPase-effector pairs.
Project description:After light-induced nuclear translocation, phytochrome photoreceptors interact with and induce rapid phosphorylation and degradation of basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors, such as PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR 3 (PIF3), to regulate gene expression. Concomitantly, this interaction triggers feedback reduction of phytochrome B (phyB) levels. Light-induced phosphorylation of PIF3 is necessary for the degradation of both proteins. We report that this PIF3 phosphorylation induces, and is necessary for, recruitment of LRB [Light-Response Bric-a-Brack/Tramtrack/Broad (BTB)] E3 ubiquitin ligases to the PIF3-phyB complex. The recruited LRBs promote concurrent polyubiqutination and degradation of both PIF3 and phyB in vivo. These data reveal a linked signal-transmission and attenuation mechanism involving mutually assured destruction of the receptor and its immediate signaling partner.
Project description:Phytochrome B (phyB) absorbs red light signals and subsequently initiates a set of molecular events in plant cells to promote photomorphogenesis. Here we show that phyB directly interacts with B-BOX CONTAINING PROTEIN 4 (BBX4), a positive regulator of red light signaling, and positively controls its abundance in red light. BBX4 associates with PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR 3 (PIF3) and represses PIF3 transcriptional activation activity and PIF3-controlled gene expression. The degradation of BBX4 in darkness is dependent on CONSTITUTIVELY PHOTOMORPHOGENIC 1 (COP1) and the 26S proteasome system. Collectively, BBX4 acts as a key component of the phyB-PIF3-mediated signaling module and fine tunes the red light action. phyB promotes the accumulation of BBX4, which in turn serves to repress PIF3 action through direct physical interaction to promote photomorphogenic development in red light.
Project description:PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR3 (PIF3) is an important component in the phytochrome signaling pathway and mediates plant responses to various environmental conditions. We found that PIF3 is involved in the inhibition of root growth of Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings induced by nitric oxide (NO) in light. Overexpression of PIF3 partially alleviated the inhibitory effect of NO on root growth, whereas the pif3-1 mutant displayed enhanced sensitivity to NO in terms of root growth. During phytochrome signaling, the photoreceptor PHYB mediates the degradation of PIF3. We found that the phyB-9 mutant had a similar phenotype to that of PIF3ox in terms of responsiveness to NO. Furthermore, NO treatment promoted the accumulation of PHYB, and thus reduced PIF3 content. Our results further show that the activity of PIF3 is regulated by the DELLA protein RGL3[RGA (repressor of ga1-3) LIKE 3]. Therefore, we speculate that PIF3 lies downstream of PHYB and RGL3, and plays an important role in the inhibitory effect of NO on root growth of Arabidopsis seedlings in light.
Project description:The bHLH transcription factor, Phytochrome Interacting Factor 3 (PIF3), interacts specifically with the photoactivated, Pfr, form of Arabidopsis phytochrome B (phyB). This interaction induces PIF3 phosphorylation and degradation in vivo and modulates phyB-mediated seedling deetiolation in response to red light. To identify missense mutations in the phyB N-terminal domain that disrupt this interaction, we developed a yeast reverse-hybrid screen. Fifteen individual mutations identified in this screen, or in previous genetic screens for Arabidopsis mutants showing reduced sensitivity to red light, were shown to also disrupt light-induced binding of phyB to PIF3 in in vitro co-immunoprecipitation assays. These phyB missense mutants fall into two general classes: Class I (eleven mutants) containing those defective in light signal perception, due to aberrant chromophore attachment or photoconversion, and Class II (four mutants) containing those normal in signal perception, but defective in the capacity to transduce this signal to PIF3. By generating a homology model for the three-dimensional structure of the Arabidopsis phyB chromophore-binding region, based on the crystal structure of Deinococcus radiodurans phytochrome, we predict that three of the four Class II mutated phyB residues are solvent exposed in a cleft between the presumptive PAS and GAF domains. This deduction suggests that these residues could be directly required for the physical interaction of phyB with PIF3. Because these three residues are also necessary for phyB-imposed inhibition of hypocotyl elongation in response to red light, they are functionally necessary for signal transfer from photoactivated phyB, not only to PIF3 and other related bHLH transcription factors tested here, but also to other downstream signaling components involved in regulating seedling deetiolation.
Project description:Plant seedlings emerging from darkness into the light environment undergo photomorphogenesis, which enables autotrophic growth with optimized morphology and physiology. During this transition, plants must rapidly remove photomorphogenic repressors accumulated in the dark. Among them is PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR 3 (PIF3), a key transcription factor promoting hypocotyl growth. Here we report that, in response to light activation of phytochrome photoreceptors, EIN3-BINDING F BOX PROTEINs (EBFs) 1 and 2 mediate PIF3 protein degradation in a manner dependent on light-induced phosphorylation of PIF3. Whereas PIF3 binds EBFs independent of light, the recruitment of PIF3-EBFs to the core SKP1-CUL1-F box protein (SCF) scaffold is facilitated by light signals or PIF3 phosphorylation. We also found that previously identified LIGHT-RESPONSE BRIC-A-BRACK/TRAMTRACK/BROAD (LRB) E3 ubiquitin ligases target phytochrome B (phyB) and PIF3 primarily under high-light conditions, whereas EBF1/2 vigorously target PIF3 degradation under wide ranges of light intensity without affecting the abundance of phyB. Both genetic and molecular data support that SCFEBF1/2 function as photomorphogenic E3s during seedling development.
Project description:The components required for photosynthesis are encoded in two separate genomes, the nuclear and the plastid. To address how synchronization of the two genomes involved can be attained in early light-signalling during chloroplast development we have formulated and experimentally tested a mathematical model simulating light sensing and the following signalling response. The model includes phytochrome B (PhyB), the phytochrome interacting factor 3 (PIF3) and putative regulatory targets of PIF3. Closed expressions of the phyB and PIF3 concentrations after light exposure are derived, which capture the relevant timescales in the response of genes regulated by PIF3. Sequence analysis demonstrated that the promoters of the nuclear genes encoding sigma factors (SIGs) and polymerase-associated proteins (PAPs) required for expression of plastid encoded genes, contain the cis-elements for binding of PIF3. The model suggests a direct link between light inputs via PhyB-PIF3 to the plastid transcription machinery and control over the expression of photosynthesis components both in the nucleus and in the plastids. Using a pluripotent Arabidopsis cell culture in which chloroplasts develop from undifferentiated proplastids following exposure to light, we could experimentally verify that the expression of SIGs and PAPs in response to light follow the calculated expression of a PhyB-PIF3 regulated gene.
Project description:Plant phytochromes are thought to transduce light signals by mediating the degradation of phytochrome-interacting transcription factors (PIFs) through the N-terminal photosensory module, while the C-terminal module, including a histidine kinase-related domain (HKRD), does not participate in signaling. Here we show that the C-terminal module of Arabidopsis phytochrome B (PHYB) is sufficient to mediate the degradation of PIF3 specifically and to activate photosynthetic genes in the dark. The HKRD is a dimerization domain for PHYB homo and heterodimerization. A D1040V mutation, which disrupts the dimerization of HKRD and the interaction between C-terminal module and PIF3, abrogates PHYB nuclear accumulation, photobody biogenesis, and PIF3 degradation. By contrast, disrupting the interaction between PIF3 and PHYB's N-terminal module has little effect on PIF3 degradation. Together, this study demonstrates that the dimeric form of the C-terminal module plays important signaling roles by targeting PHYB to subnuclear photobodies and interacting with PIF3 to trigger its degradation.
Project description:Arabidopsis seedlings display rhythmic growth when grown under diurnal conditions, with maximal elongation rates occurring at the end of the night under short-day photoperiods. Current evidence indicates that this behavior involves the action of the growth-promoting bHLH factors PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR 4 (PIF4) and PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR 5 (PIF5) at the end of the night, through a coincidence mechanism that combines their transcriptional regulation by the circadian clock with control of protein accumulation by light. To assess the possible role of PIF3 in this process, we have analyzed hypocotyl responses and marker gene expression in pif single- and higher-order mutants. The data show that PIF3 plays a prominent role as a promoter of seedling growth under diurnal light/dark conditions, in conjunction with PIF4 and PIF5. In addition, we provide evidence that PIF3 functions in this process through its intrinsic transcriptional regulatory activity, at least in part by directly targeting growth-related genes, and independently of its ability to regulate phytochrome B (phyB) levels. Furthermore, in sharp contrast to PIF4 and PIF5, our data show that the PIF3 gene is not subject to transcriptional regulation by the clock, but that PIF3 protein abundance oscillates under diurnal conditions as a result of a progressive decline in PIF3 protein degradation mediated by photoactivated phyB, and consequent accumulation of the bHLH factor during the dark period. Collectively, the data suggest that phyB-mediated, post-translational regulation allows PIF3 accumulation to peak just before dawn, at which time it accelerates hypocotyl growth, together with PIF4 and PIF5, by directly regulating the induction of growth-related genes.
Project description:The phytochrome (phy) family of sensory photoreceptors (phyA-E in Arabidopsis) elicit changes in gene expression after light-induced migration to the nucleus, where they interact with basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors, such as phytochrome-interacting factor 3 (PIF3). The mechanism by which PIF3 relays phy signals, both early after initial light exposure and later during long-term irradiation, is not understood. Using transgenically expressed PIF3 variants, carrying site-specific amino acid substitutions that block the protein from binding either to DNA, phyA, and/or phyB, we examined the involvement of PIF3 in early, phy-induced marker gene expression and in modulating long-term, phy-imposed inhibition of hypocotyl cell elongation under prolonged, continuous irradiation. We describe an unanticipated dual mechanism of PIF3 action that involves the temporal uncoupling of its two most central molecular functions. We find that in early signaling, PIF3 acts positively as a transcription factor, exclusively requiring its DNA-binding capacity. Contrary to previous proposals, PIF3 functions as a constitutive coactivator in this process, without the need for phy binding and subsequent phy-induced modifications. This finding implies that another factor(s) is conditionally activated by phy and functions in concert with PIF3, to induce target gene transcription. In contrast, during long-term irradiations, PIF3 acts exclusively through its phyB-interacting capacity to control hypocotyl cell elongation, independently of its ability to bind DNA. Unexpectedly, PIF3 uses this capacity to regulate phyB protein abundance (and thereby global photosensory sensitivity) to modulate this long-term response rather than participating directly in the transduction chain as a signaling intermediate.
Project description:Phytochrome photoreceptors mediate adaptive responses of plants to red and far-red light. These responses generally entail light-regulated association between phytochromes and other proteins, among them the phytochrome-interacting factors (PIF). The interaction with <i>Arabidopsis thaliana</i> phytochrome B (<i>At</i>PhyB) localizes to the bipartite APB motif of the <i>A. thaliana</i> PIFs (<i>At</i>PIF). To address a dearth of quantitative interaction data, we construct and analyze numerous <i>At</i>PIF3/6 variants. Red-light-activated binding is predominantly mediated by the APB N-terminus, whereas the C-terminus modulates binding and underlies the differential affinity of <i>At</i>PIF3 and <i>At</i>PIF6. We identify <i>At</i>PIF variants of reduced size, monomeric or homodimeric state, and with <i>At</i>PhyB affinities between 10 and 700?nM. Optogenetically deployed in mammalian cells, the <i>At</i>PIF variants drive light-regulated gene expression and membrane recruitment, in certain cases reducing basal activity and enhancing regulatory response. Moreover, our results provide hitherto unavailable quantitative insight into the <i>At</i>PhyB:<i>At</i>PIF interaction underpinning vital light-dependent responses in plants.