The Two Cryptochrome/Photolyase Family Proteins Fulfill Distinct Roles in DNA Photorepair and Regulation of Conidiation in the Gray Mold Fungus Botrytis cinerea.
ABSTRACT: The plant-pathogenic leotiomycete Botrytis cinerea is known for the strict regulation of its asexual differentiation programs by environmental light conditions. Sclerotia are formed in constant darkness; black/near-UV (NUV) light induces conidiation; and blue light represses both differentiation programs. Sensing of black/NUV light is attributed to proteins of the cryptochrome/photolyase family (CPF). To elucidate the molecular basis of the photoinduction of conidiation, we functionally characterized the two CPF proteins encoded in the genome of B. cinerea as putative positive-acting components. B. cinerea CRY1 (BcCRY1), a cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) photolyase, acts as the major enzyme of light-driven DNA repair (photoreactivation) and has no obvious role in signaling. In contrast, BcCRY2, belonging to the cry-DASH proteins, is dispensable for photorepair but performs regulatory functions by repressing conidiation in white and especially black/NUV light. The transcription of bccry1 and bccry2 is induced by light in a White Collar complex (WCC)-dependent manner, but neither light nor the WCC is essential for the repression of conidiation through BcCRY2 when bccry2 is constitutively expressed. Further, BcCRY2 affects the transcript levels of both WCC-induced and WCC-repressed genes, suggesting a signaling function downstream of the WCC. Since both CPF proteins are dispensable for photoinduction by black/NUV light, the origin of this effect remains elusive and may be connected to a yet unknown UV-light-responsive system.IMPORTANCEBotrytis cinerea is an economically important plant pathogen that causes gray mold diseases in a wide variety of plant species, including high-value crops and ornamental flowers. The spread of disease in the field relies on the formation of conidia, a process that is regulated by different light qualities. While this feature has been known for a long time, we are just starting to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms. Conidiation in B. cinerea is induced by black/near-UV light, whose sensing is attributed to the action of cryptochrome/photolyase family (CPF) proteins. Here we report on the distinct functions of two CPF proteins in the photoresponse of B. cinerea While BcCRY1 acts as the major photolyase in photoprotection, BcCRY2 acts as a cryptochrome with a signaling function in regulating photomorphogenesis (repression of conidiation).
Project description:Organisms are exposed to a tough environment, where acute daily challenges, like light, can strongly affect several aspects of an individual's physiology, including pathogenesis. While several fungal models have been widely employed to understand the physiological and molecular events associated with light perception, various other agricultural-relevant fungi still remain, in terms of their responsiveness to light, in the dark. The fungus Botrytis cinerea is an aggressive pathogen able to cause disease on a wide range of plant species. Natural B. cinerea isolates exhibit a high degree of diversity in their predominant mode of reproduction. Thus, the majority of naturally occurring strains are known to reproduce asexually via conidia and sclerotia, and sexually via apothecia. Studies from the 1970's reported on specific developmental responses to treatments with near-UV, blue, red and far-red light. To unravel the signaling machinery triggering development--and possibly also connected with virulence--we initiated the functional characterization of the transcription factor/photoreceptor BcWCL1 and its partner BcWCL2, that form the White Collar Complex (WCC) in B. cinerea. Using mutants either abolished in or exhibiting enhanced WCC signaling (overexpression of both bcwcl1 and bcwcl2), we demonstrate that the WCC is an integral part of the mentioned machinery by mediating transcriptional responses to white light and the inhibition of conidiation in response to this stimulus. Furthermore, the WCC is required for coping with excessive light, oxidative stress and also to achieve full virulence. Although several transcriptional responses are abolished in the absence of bcwcl1, the expression of some genes is still light induced and a distinct conidiation pattern in response to daily light oscillations is enhanced, revealing a complex underlying photobiology. Though overlaps with well-studied fungal systems exist, the light-associated machinery of B. cinerea appears more complex than those of Neurospora crassa and Aspergillus nidulans.
Project description:Ustilago maydis is a phytopathogenic fungus causing corn smut disease. It also is known for its extreme tolerance to UV- and ionizing radiation. It has not been elucidated whether light-sensing proteins, and in particular photolyases play a role in its UV-tolerance. Based on homology analysis, U. maydis has 10 genes encoding putative light-responsive proteins. Four amongst these belong to the cryptochrome/photolyase family (CPF) and one represents a white collar 1 ortholog (wco1). Deletion mutants in the predicted cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer CPD- and (6-4)-photolyase were impaired in photoreactivation. In line with this, in vitro studies with recombinant CPF proteins demonstrated binding of the catalytic FAD cofactor, its photoreduction to fully reduced FADH(-) and repair activity for cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) or (6-4)-photoproducts, respectively. We also investigated the role of Wco1. Strikingly, transcriptional profiling showed 61 genes differentially expressed upon blue light exposure of wild-type, but only eight genes in the ?wco1 mutant. These results demonstrate that Wco1 is a functional blue light photoreceptor in U. maydis regulating expression of several genes including both photolyases. Finally, we show that the ?wco1 mutant is less tolerant against UV-B due to its incapability to induce photolyase expression.
Project description:Powdery mildews can be controlled by brief exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation with devastating effect on their developmental stages including conidia germination. The treatment effect can be impaired by subsequent exposure to UV-A/blue light. UV-A/blue light-activated photolyase may be responsible for this and therefore we tested the function of three cryptochrome/photolyase family (CPF)-like genes (OINE01015670_T110144, OINE01000912_T103440, and OINE01005061_T102555) identified in the obligate biotrophic fungus Pseudoidium neolycopersici, the cause of tomato powdery mildew. A photolyase-deficient mutant of Escherichia coli transformed with coding sequence of OINE01000912_T103440 and exposed to brief (UV)-C treatment (peak emission at 254 nm) showed photoreactivation and cell survival when exposed to subsequent blue light, indicating complementation of photolyase activity. In contrast, the same photolyase-deficient E. coli transformed with the coding sequences of other two CPF-like genes did not survive this treatment, even though their expression were confirmed at protein level. This confirmed that OINE01000912_T103440 is a gene encoding photolyase, here named PnPHR1, with functionality similar to the native photolyase in E. coli, and classified as a class I cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) photolyase. Modeling of the 634-amino acid sequence of PnPHR1 suggested that it is capable of binding flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) and methenyltetrahydrofolate (MTHF). However, spectroscopic data of the protein produced in an E. coli expression system could only reveal the presence of a reduced form of FAD, i.e., FADH- as an intrinsic chromophore. Within the tested wavelength range of 365-525 nm, the survival of photolyase-deficient mutant E. coli transformed with PnPHR1 showed a broad action spectrum from 365 to 454 nm. This was very similar to the previously characterized action spectrum for survival of P. neolycopersici conidia that had been treated with UV-C. Quantitative RT-PCR revealed that the expression of PnPHR1 in P. neolycopersici conidia was induced by UV-C, and peak expression occurred 4 h after brief UV-C treatment. The expression of PnPHR1 was repressed when incubated in red light after the UV-C treatment, but not when incubated in UV-A/blue light. The results may explain why the disease-reducing effect of short wavelength UV is impaired by exposure to UV-A and blue light.
Project description:DASH (Drosophila, Arabidopsis, Synechocystis, Human)-type cryptochromes (cry-DASH) belong to a family of flavoproteins acting as repair enzymes for UV-B-induced DNA lesions (photolyases) or as UV-A/blue light photoreceptors (cryptochromes). They are present in plants, bacteria, various vertebrates, and fungi and were originally considered as sensory photoreceptors because of their incapability to repair cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) lesions in duplex DNA. However, cry-DASH can repair CPDs in single-stranded DNA, but their role in DNA repair in vivo remains to be clarified. The genome of the fungus Phycomyces blakesleeanus contains a single gene for a protein of the cryptochrome/photolyase family (CPF) encoding a cry-DASH, cryA, despite its ability to photoreactivate. Here, we show that cryA expression is induced by blue light in a Mad complex-dependent manner. Moreover, we demonstrate that CryA is capable of binding flavin (FAD) and methenyltetrahydrofolate (MTHF), fully complements the Escherichia coli photolyase mutant and repairs in vitro CPD lesions in single-stranded and double-stranded DNA with the same efficiency. These results support a role for Phycomyces cry-DASH as a photolyase and suggest a similar role for cry-DASH in mucoromycotina fungi.
Project description:Photolyases and cryptochromes are evolutionarily related flavoproteins with distinct functions. While photolyases can repair UV-induced DNA lesions in a light-dependent manner, cryptochromes regulate growth, development and the circadian clock in plants and animals. Here we report about two photolyase-related proteins, named PhrA and PhrB, found in the phytopathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens. PhrA belongs to the class III cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) photolyases, the sister class of plant cryptochromes, while PhrB belongs to a new class represented in at least 350 bacterial organisms. Both proteins contain flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) as a primary catalytic cofactor, which is photoreduceable by blue light. Spectral analysis of PhrA confirmed the presence of 5,10-methenyltetrahydrofolate (MTHF) as antenna cofactor. PhrB comprises also an additional chromophore, absorbing in the short wavelength region but its spectrum is distinct from known antenna cofactors in other photolyases. Homology modeling suggests that PhrB contains an Fe-S cluster as cofactor which was confirmed by elemental analysis and EPR spectroscopy. According to protein sequence alignments the classical tryptophan photoreduction pathway is present in PhrA but absent in PhrB. Although PhrB is clearly distinguished from other photolyases including PhrA it is, like PhrA, required for in vivo photoreactivation. Moreover, PhrA can repair UV-induced DNA lesions in vitro. Thus, A. tumefaciens contains two photolyase homologs of which PhrB represents the first member of the cryptochrome/photolyase family (CPF) that contains an iron-sulfur cluster.
Project description:Members of the cryptochrome/photolyase family (CPF) are widely distributed throughout all kingdoms, and encode photosensitive proteins that typically show either photoreceptor or DNA repair activity. Animal and plant cryptochromes have lost DNA repair activity and now perform specialized photoperceptory functions, for example, plant cryptochromes regulate growth and circadian rhythms, whereas mammalian and insect cryptochromes act as transcriptional repressors that control the circadian clock. However, the functional differentiation between photolyases and cryptochromes is now being questioned. Here, we show that the PtCPF1 protein from the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum shows 6-4 photoproduct repair activity and can act as a transcriptional repressor of the circadian clock in a heterologous mammalian cell system. Conversely, it seems to have a wide role in blue-light-regulated gene expression in diatoms. The protein might therefore represent a missing link in the evolution of CPFs, and act as a novel ultraviolet/blue light sensor in marine environments.
Project description:Despite the sequence and structural conservation between cryptochromes and photolyases, members of the cryptochrome/photolyase (flavo)protein family, their functions are divergent. Whereas photolyases are DNA repair enzymes that use visible light to lesion-specifically remove UV-induced DNA damage, cryptochromes act as photoreceptors and circadian clock proteins. To address the functional diversity of cryptochromes and photolyases, we investigated the effect of ectopically expressed Arabidopsis thaliana (6-4)PP photolyase and Potorous tridactylus CPD-photolyase (close and distant relatives of mammalian cryptochromes, respectively), on the performance of the mammalian cryptochromes in the mammalian circadian clock. Using photolyase transgenic mice, we show that Potorous CPD-photolyase affects the clock by shortening the period of behavioral rhythms. Furthermore, constitutively expressed CPD-photolyase is shown to reduce the amplitude of circadian oscillations in cultured cells and to inhibit CLOCK/BMAL1 driven transcription by interacting with CLOCK. Importantly, we show that Potorous CPD-photolyase can restore the molecular oscillator in the liver of (clock-deficient) Cry1/Cry2 double knockout mice. These data demonstrate that a photolyase can act as a true cryptochrome. These findings shed new light on the importance of the core structure of mammalian cryptochromes in relation to its function in the circadian clock and contribute to our further understanding of the evolution of the cryptochrome/photolyase protein family.
Project description:DASH (Drosophila, Arabidopsis, Synechocystis, human) cryptochromes (cry-DASHs) constitute a subgroup of the photolyase cryptochrome family with diverse light-sensing roles, found in most taxonomical groups. The genome of Fusarium fujikuroi, a phytopathogenic fungus with a rich secondary metabolism, contains a gene encoding a putative cry-DASH, named CryD. The expression of the cryD gene is induced by light in the wild type, but not in mutants of the "white collar" gene wcoA. Targeted ?cryD mutants show light-dependent phenotypic alterations, including changes in morphology and pigmentation, which disappear upon reintroduction of a wild-type cryD allele. In addition to microconidia, the colonies of the ?cryD mutants produced under illumination and nitrogen starvation large septated spores called macroconidia, absent in wild-type colonies. The ?cryD mutants accumulated similar amounts of carotenoids to the control strain under constant illumination, but produced much larger amounts of bikaverin under nitrogen starvation, indicating a repressing role for CryD in this biosynthetic pathway. Additionally, a moderate photoinduction of gibberellin production was exhibited by the wild type but not by the ?cryD mutants. The phenotypic alterations of the ?cryD mutants were only noticeable in the light, as expected from the low expression of cryD in the dark, but did not correlate with mRNA levels for structural genes of the bikaverin or gibberellin biosynthetic pathways, suggesting the participation of CryD in posttranscriptional regulatory mechanisms. This is the first report on the participation of a cry-DASH protein in the regulation of fungal secondary metabolism.
Project description:Proteins of the cryptochrome/photolyase family share high sequence similarities, common folds, and the flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) cofactor, but exhibit diverse physiological functions. Mammalian cryptochromes are essential regulatory components of the 24 h circadian clock, whereas (6-4) photolyases recognize and repair UV-induced DNA damage by using light energy absorbed by FAD. Despite increasing knowledge about physiological functions from genetic analyses, the molecular mechanisms and conformational dynamics involved in clock signaling and DNA repair remain poorly understood. The (6-4) photolyase, which has strikingly high similarity to human clock cryptochromes, is a prototypic biological system to study conformational dynamics of cryptochrome/photolyase family proteins. The entire light-dependent DNA repair process for (6-4) photolyase can be reproduced in a simple in vitro system. To decipher pivotal reactions of the common FAD cofactor, we accomplished time-resolved measurements of radical formation, diffusion, and protein conformational changes during light-dependent repair by full-length (6-4) photolyase on DNA carrying a single UV-induced damage. The (6-4) photolyase by itself showed significant volume changes after blue-light activation, indicating protein conformational changes distant from the flavin cofactor. A drastic diffusion change was observed only in the presence of both (6-4) photolyase and damaged DNA, and not for (6-4) photolyase alone or with undamaged DNA. Thus, we propose that this diffusion change reflects the rapid (50 ?s time constant) dissociation of the protein from the repaired DNA product. Conformational changes with such fast turnover would likely enable DNA repair photolyases to access the entire genome in cells.
Project description:Cryptochromes are blue-light receptors that have presumably evolved from the DNA photolyase protein family, and the genomes of many organisms contain genes for both types of molecules. Both protein structures resemble each other, which suggests that light control and light protection share a common ancient origin. In the genome of the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans, however, only one cryptochrome/photolyase-encoding gene, termed cryA, was identified. Deletion of the cryA gene triggers sexual differentiation under inappropriate culture conditions and results in up-regulation of transcripts encoding regulators of fruiting body formation. CryA is a protein whose N- and C-terminal synthetic green fluorescent protein fusions localize to the nucleus. CryA represses sexual development under UVA (350-370 nm) light both on plates and in submerged culture. Strikingly, CryA exhibits photorepair activity as demonstrated by heterologous complementation of a DNA repair-deficient Escherichia coli strain as well as overexpression in an A. nidulans uvsBDelta genetic background. This is in contrast to the single deletion cryADelta strain, which does not show increased sensitivity toward UV-induced damage. In A. nidulans, cryA encodes a novel type of cryptochrome/photolyase that exhibits a regulatory function during light-dependent development and DNA repair activity. This represents a paradigm for the evolutionary transition between photolyases and cryptochromes.